The last time Nick Foles played in a live football game, he walked off a confetti-covered field in Minneapolis as the MVP after leading to Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots on February 4.
It's only fitting that the quarterback's next game will also be against the Patriots when the Eagles travel to Foxborough for their second preseason contest on Thursday.
After the Eagles' final Training Camp practice Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex, head coach Doug Pederson confirmed to reporters that Foles would see playing time on Thursday. He missed the preseason opener on August 9 with muscle spasms in his neck.
"I do expect him to get in the game," Pederson said. "For how long, I don't know, but I do expect him to get a few plays in this game."
Foles said there isn't a "mathematical formula" for how much he needs to play in the preseason to be ready for the regular season. It's just about feeling it out and getting comfortable.
"I think just getting back on the field, getting back in the huddle, obviously you want to be clean in your execution, but for me, it's just the feel of the game," Foles said. "You're going to get emotions, you've got to get back up to speed, being out there in a stadium, playing against an opponent, just feeling those emotions again, and just getting the feel for the game. Gameday is a little different."
Foles also shot down any idea of reminiscing about last season as the Eagles take on the team they defeated in the Super Bowl. For him and the rest of the team, it's time to move forward.
"I'm pretty familiar with the opponent," Foles said. "It's a new season, some new personnel. Everyone is installing different things at different times. It'll be fun just to be back on the field. Obviously, it's the last team we played, but I'm excited to get up there and compete against them."
Quarterback Carson Wentz will sit out the game in New England as he did against the Steelers last week. Pederson said that following this Thursday's game, Wentz's knee will be re-evaluated by the medical staff to decide if he can increase his role in practice next week.
"I'm excited to see where he's at health-wise," Pederson said. "He's done a nice job out here already in the last couple of weeks so I'll be curious to see where it goes from here."
Wentz has not participated in 11-on-11 drills since the very beginning of Training Camp and has played a limited role in 7-on-7s. He said the goal is to join in 11-on-11s once again next week.
"I think hopefully I can just show him that I look comfortable, I look confident, and I know I will," Wentz said. "With the reps I have gotten, I feel confident in both my knee and this team and the offense and everything, so hopefully I can just jump right back into where I left off."
Pederson said he would ideally want Wentz to have a week of preparation before starting a potential Week 1 game against the Atlanta Falcons on September 6. But they are still evaluating Wentz on a day-by-day basis and not getting ahead of the process.
He said the challenge for Wentz is staying in rhythm with receivers during this time on the sideline. It's why keeping him in at least a limited role in many drills was imperative during Training Camp. But Wentz's relationships with his teammates, and the chemistry that comes with them, are beneficial in this situation.
"Obviously, I didn't quite get as much practice as I would like to have in camp and everything, but I feel good," Wentz said. "I feel good physically, feel like my knee is feeling better, and I'm feeling kind of ready to go a little bit. As a team, it's kind of a normal camp. I know we're excited to get into the next phase and be done with camp."
The main positive of what Wentz did in Training Camp is what he didn't do. Wentz said he never experienced addition pain or swelling despite the increase in pressure on his knee in practices. There was no setback, the brace worked perfectly, and he never left practice early.
Wentz may be sitting out of Thursday's "Super Bowl rematch" in New England, but everything is still on schedule for now.
"It's a very positive sign seeing that I have been able to be out here for every practice and my knee has responded well each day," Wentz said. "Obviously, I'm not getting the reps I would like because of where we're at but the positive is how it has responded and it's not just practice, it's things we're doing in the weight room, things we're doing in the training room, and things have been going well."