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May 26, 2018

Zach Ertz optimistic about Carson Wentz recovery, return

Eagles NFL
0526_Wentz_Ertz_USAT Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports, File

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, right, and tight end Zach Ertz.

The doctors will have the final say as to when Carson Wentz can make his return from ACL surgery — just around five months ago. But the eyeball test really, strongly suggests he is ahead of schedule.

Just ask tight end Zach Ertz, who has built some palpable chemistry working alongside his quarterback as each is establishing himself as a mainstay on fantasy football draft boards across the country. The two connected for seven touchdown passes (of eight total for Ertz) during the 2017 season.

"Nothing surprises me with that guy," Ertz said last week. "His work ethic is second to none, he's been grinding since he had surgery, he's going to attack it like he does anything else. It is great to see him out there and not in the background leading the team."

Wentz didn't do everything when OTAs started in South Philly, but he sure did a lot more than many expected.

"Anytime you're rehabbing from any kind of injury you have to be careful," Wentz said, prior to impressing the watching media as he threw in individual drills last Tuesday. "It's just part of the process. You have to trust what the doctors are saying and the trainers are saying.

"I'm not entirely cleared to do everything yet but I will do what I can. You just kind of do a little bit more each day, it's not always like this there are days you are sore and tied its all part of it."

When he isn't actually able to be out on the field, Wentz is working to come back in any way he can.

"You see the way he works in the work room," Ertz said. "There are times we are on the field and he's covered in sweat from head to toe working his butt off in there."

The progress is no doubt good news for everyone involved in the Eagles' organization with many nervous about the state of his recovery. Many question if he will return the same aggressive, dynamic quarterback he was prior to last season's injury. While there is no predicting how his body will respond, when or how, Wentz is confident that the mental and spiritual tests he was put to over the last few months (specifically having to watch his team win a Super Bowl without him) have made him stronger.

"On a personal level, when you're injured, that's when you find out the type of man you are," Wentz said.


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