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Pederson: Carson Wentz is 'close' to returning for Eagles

Wentz will not play in Week 1 vs. Falcons

Eliot Shorr-Parks
September 04, 2018 - 11:03 am

One day after he announced that quarterback Nick Foles would be starting for the Eagles against the Atlanta Falcons, head coach Doug Pederson continued to keep the door open for a Carson Wentz return in the not-so-distant future. 

“Close,” Pederson said when asked how far away Wentz was. “I’m no doctor, no expert. Still leaving it up to the medical team. He’s had some great workouts here in the last few days. We’ll see.”

Wentz has made it clear since he had surgery on his torn ACL and LCL that playing in Week 1 was the goal. It sounds like he didn’t miss that goal by very much, although he has not yet been medically cleared to play. 

The fact he wasn’t medically cleared was the top factor in Pederson’s decision. 

“I’m not going to get into all the whys, therefores, what went into this, what went into that. I made the decision,” Pederson said. “I’ve been in conversation with both Carson and Nick this entire time.  Dating all the way back to the spring. I made the decision yesterday, both guys have embraced it. Now we are focused and getting ready for Thursday night.”

EAGLES: Time for Foles to repay Wentz for last season

So when will Wentz play?

The Eagles’ next game after their contest against the Falcons is on Sept. 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By that point Wentz will be a full nine moths past his surgery. Their following game after that is Sept. 23 against the Indianapolis Colts. By the time the team takes the field for that game Wentz will be nine months, one week and three days past his surgery. 

If the Eagles decide to wait until the game after their Bye Week, which is Nov. 11 against the Dallas Cowboys at home, Wentz will be 10 months and 29 days removed from his surgery. 

As has been the case throughout all of the mystery surrounding Wentz over the last month, the final decision rests in the hands of the doctors. It is impossible to speculate on when Wentz will be medically cleared, since the team — understandably — isn’t sharing Wentz’s medical records. Wentz said two weeks ago that Week 1 was going to “be close”, which would indicate that he shouldn’t be that far away from playing. 

Wentz isn’t expected to speak to the media until he is cleared to play. As evident by his last press conference, it would be surprising if head coach Doug Pederson offered up much information about his quarterback’s status over the next week. 

Which means that despite Wentz’s status for Week now being decided, the waiting game will now continue into the regular season — and Wentz’s status will continue to be the No. 1 question surrounding this team.

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