Philadelphia Eagles News

Morning Roundup: Ready To Fly

Gooooooood morning, Eagles fans! It's a good one, indeed, as the players are back in the building Tuesday for a weightlifting session and meetings. Later today, offensive coordinator Mike Groh discusses the return of the franchise quarterback and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz details what happened to the defense at 1:40 this afternoon and we'll bring that to you live. Until then, here's what you need to know in our Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft.

1. Carson Wentz Gets The Midnight Green Light

Doug Pederson doesn't have to answer any more questions about the quarterback position.

The head coach announced Monday that Carson Wentz has been medically cleared for contact and will start Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts come to town.

"He's excited, he's ready," Pederson said. "Our plan was in place, he understood it, he embraced that, and now he's ready."

Sunday will mark 287 days since Wentz suffered his knee injury in Los Angeles.

2. Reaction To Wentz's Return

Center Jason Kelce attended a fundraiser in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on Monday evening and, of course, the big topic was Wentz's return.

"I'm excited for him to be back out there," said Kelce, courtesy of 6abc. "I know that he's definitely chomping at the bit. You're definitely going to get everything you've got from that guy every time he steps on the field."

There was also plenty of reaction on social media as well.

3. What Does Wentz's Return Mean For The Offense?

Nick Foles was plenty efficient in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay, throwing for 334 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles have had their struggles on offense. The Eagles have just five explosive plays of 20-plus yards this season - two on the ground and three in the air. Philadelphia has scored no touchdowns off explosive plays.

Dave Spadaro cautions fans that it'll take more than just Wentz to get the offense on track:

The Eagles are a better offense with Carson Wentz taking the snaps and using his athleticism and his big arm and his football IQ and just his top-shelf, Franchise-Quarterback talents to move the football.

But it's not all on Wentz. We learned that last season, if we needed to understand the dynamic. Nick Foles replaced Wentz from December 10 on and led the Eagles to the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and then ranged from efficient to spectacular to dominating as the Eagles won Super Bowl LII. No, it's not all on Wentz.

But he's going to help a team that needs a nudge.

4. Who Will Wentz Throw To At Wide Receiver?

While Pederson revealed good news about Wentz, the outlook wasn't as sunny for wide receiver Mike Wallace, who suffered a fractured fibula Sunday against Tampa Bay. Medical tests are being done before the team decides what to do with his roster status. It doesn't appear as if Alshon Jeffery will make his season debut against the Colts as Pederson said that No. 17 is still "week to week" coming back from the offseason shoulder surgery.

5. What About The Defense?

The numbers weren't good. The optics weren't either. But Fran Duffy offers some insight into the defense's struggles Sunday in Tampa starting with the opening play:

(Ryan) Fitzpatrick was outstanding with his eye manipulation last week against New Orleans, a trait that showed up once again on Sunday against the Eagles. On the very first play, the veteran quarterback dropped back and removed Malcolm Jenkins from the middle of the field with his eyes. By staring to his right, he had Jenkins lean heavily toward the sideline, clearing room for DeSean Jackson to run to the post.

The Eagles were in a form of Cover 3 on the play, with three zone defenders underneath and three deep down the field. Jalen Mills is playing with outside leverage, meaning he is lining up outside of Jackson to force him inside towards his help in Jenkins. With Jenkins not there, it's nothing but green grass for a 75-yard touchdown.

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