- Although quarterback Carson Wentz's involvement in practice has decreased recently, everything is going as planned according to him and head coach Doug Pederson.
After seeing a significant amount of action in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills in the first days of Training Camp, quarterback Carson Wentz has played less in the last three practices as the full pads came on and hitting began.
But head coach Doug Pederson said this is nothing of concern. Changing Wentz's involvement was expected in the process of getting him back to full health.
"What I saw last week is enough to ease my mind," Pederson said. "I don't need to see him in 11-on-11 drills right now. He's progressing extremely well. I don't want to subject him to any kind of setback or anything like that. I want to keep him progressive and moving forward and those two days we had with him were very exciting and encouraging for me."
Pederson said that everything is going as according to the "plan" for Wentz. Pederson and Wentz both noted that this plan has been a collaborative effort between the two of them as well as other coaches and the medical staff.
"When the time comes, we'll put him out there," Pederson said. "That's all part of the plan."
For Wentz, while he wishes he were out on the field taking more snaps, he certainly understands the team's constraint and is not at all frustrated by it.
"I might feel one way but science says one thing and the textbooks may say another, it's just a constant collaboration and communication throughout," Wentz said. "I'm a competitor, and I want to be out there. I wanted to be out there today. I want to be out there Week 1. I wanted to be out there last year, but there's certain limitations and certain things that you just can't do and I need to trust what they say."
Wentz played a significant portion of Saturday's practice with full pads. Although hits were not allowed, he did face some pressure and minor pushing as the pocket occasionally collapsed around him. Wentz said Saturday's physicality did not change the plan for his limited involvement on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"My understanding is coaches and trainers and everything just want me to stay in a more controlled environment right now," Wentz said. "I'm not really sure exactly what the concern was. I don't know if there was a concern. Again, it was just part of the plan. I haven't been cleared for contact so I know that's the reason they wanted to keep me out of some of those and they want to stay in some more controlled environments right now going forward."
Wentz's plan for a full return is not set in stone. He expects his workload to change day by day based on how he feels physically.
"I think ever since the injury, we've been saying it's a fluid process," Wentz said. "It's constantly a fluid process. Some days you're feeling better than other days. So could there be some change of plan? For sure. But this is part of the plan right now so we're sticking to it."
While Wentz has watched much of practice from the sideline, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles has taken the first-team reps at quarterback. For starters like tight end Zach Ertz, seeing Wentz watch from afar is difficult, but everyone knows that the best interest of the team is in mind.
"Obviously, (Wentz) wants to be doing everything. His mindset has always been to do everything. At the same time, his long-term health is the most important priority," Ertz said. "Whether they back him off now and push him later or push him now and back him off later, it's going to be a roller coaster.
"Carson is going to be the franchise quarterback for the next 15 years," he added. "We've got to keep that in mind. Each and every day we go out there on the practice field, he's got to be 1,000 percent ready to go. If he's not, there's no point. We've got a quote-unquote backup who is not a backup in Nick Foles. We're confident with him going into the season."
Going forward, Wentz maintains the goal is to start Week 1 against the Falcons. His mindset has not changed even as his involvement in camp has. It is simply a process he has to trust.
"It's pretty much stayed the same all the way out," Wentz said. "I'm sticking to my goal. Again, I can't say with 100 percent certainty what it's going to be, but I'm sticking to my goal. Hopefully, it's Week 1, and if not, it's a fluid process and we'll see when we get going."