As the Eagles’ first preseason game on Thursday at 7 p.m. approaches, it appears as if the team will be without its top two quarterbacks.
Unsurprisingly, head coach Doug Pederson confirmed to reporters Tuesday after practice that Carson Wentz will not play on Thursday as his rehabilitation process continues. Wentz has not participated in 11-on-11 drills since early in Training Camp and has only participated in 7-on-7s instead.
“Obviously, he hasn’t taken 11-on-11,” Pederson said. “We’re still watching his progress, monitoring that. But if he’s not in practice, you can figure that out.”
Wentz told reporters that he feels good when he is out on the practice field in drills. Similarly to when he took the podium last week, Wentz said he wishes he were playing but trusts the rehabilitation process.
“It’s frustrating,” Wentz said. “Obviously, getting the chance to get out there and everything felt great. It was great to be out there. But again, I’m trusting what the doctors are saying. Without a doubt, it’s tough to just sit there and watch. I did it all last offseason and now, kind of getting your feet wet but going in and out, it’s not what I like but I’m making the most of it.”
Wentz’s limited involvement will continue into next week as the coaches and training staff aim to keep him in what Pederson referred to last week as a “controlled environment.” Keeping Wentz out of these drills is an indefinite plan for now.
“We’ll probably keep going the way we’re going,” Pederson said. “He’s progressing extremely well. He’s getting stronger every single day. The 7-on-7 reps he’s getting are valuable reps. It’s all part of the process.”
“We’ll see,” Wentz said. “I think for next week it’s going to be the same type of routine and then keep talking with the docs, coaches, and then kind of make a plan as we go. But again, I’m just trusting what they say.”
Quarterback Nick Foles told reporters Tuesday that muscle spasms in his neck are what kept him from practicing Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as well as on Monday and Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex. He said it does not seem like a major issue.
“Sometimes with throwers, you just throw so much that it gets aggravated so this is the time of the year that you try to be smart,” Foles said. “I’m in the training room a lot. We’re getting a good regimen going on. Once again, I want to be out there every single day but right now we’re just working on getting this thing healthy.”
Foles said he does not know how the injury occurred. It was just something that he noticed was uncomfortable recently. He emphasized the point that at this time of the year with the regular season quickly approaching, it is crucial to be cautious of injuries and not play through anything potentially serious.
With that being said, Foles did not rule out playing on Thursday. But he said he is taking the “smart” approach by being careful about the injury and not rushing back to the field.
“We’re still talking about it day to day,” Foles said. “We’re worrying about the training room right now. We’re going through the rehab protocol, so we’ll see. We never rule anything out but at the end of the day we’ll see what happens.”
Foles did not play in any preseason games last season while being sidelined with an elbow injury. Wentz played in just one preseason game in 2016 before starting Week 1 of the regular season as a rookie. Both see the preseason as valuable but not vital for regular-season success.
"Last preseason, I didn’t get a chance to play, but luckily I’ve played a lot of football so you just kind of lean on that,” Foles said. “Football is such a rhythm game that it takes a lot of time. ... But that’s why the preseason is great, that’s why Training Camp is great, that’s why every rep is so valuable. But I don’t have a target amount of playing. I just want to be back on the practice field healthy and ready to roll.”
“I don’t think it’s a big hurdle for me,” Wentz said. “Would I love to be out there on Thursday? Absolutely. I would love to play every day. But for me personally I think I’ll be fine if I don’t get out there for preseason.”
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