Spadaro: With a great backup, Wentz has time to fully recover

The question continues: When is Carson Wentz going to be ready to play in 2018 for the Eagles?

By Dave Spadaro

There really is no answer at this point in time, but the question continues: When is quarterback Carson Wentz going to be ready to play in 2018 for the Philadelphia Eagles?

If you ask Wentz, he will say his “goal is to play Week 1. I’m confident I’ll be back and ready to play Week 1 against Atlanta.” If you ask head coach Doug Pederson, you hear a different version.

“I’m not going to rush him out there. I’m not going to expose him,” Pederson said.

“He’ll be ready when he’s ready, and when we feel he’s ready. Right now, we’re encouraged with the progress he’s making.”

Which means what, exactly?

It means we’re not going to have an answer until, probably, early in August, if then. Wentz suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the Eagles’ Dec. 10 game at the Los Angeles Rams and almost immediately went into surgery. In the old days, a torn ACL would mean a recovery period of at least 9 to 12 months. Players often took longer than a calendar year to recover all the way.

But with today’s modern medicine, the recovery window is much smaller. Wentz, only six months out from surgery, is running. He’s wearing a brace on his knee as he takes part — on a very, very limited basis — in the Eagles’ offseason, on-field program. The progress he’s making on a daily basis is fairly remarkable. Wentz is motivated to get back in the lineup, to run his team once again.

Here’s the truth, though, and it’s going to be repeated many times in the months to come: Wentz’s recovery is being measured in dribs and drabs, and added up he’s ahead of the game at this point. Not until August, though, not until he’s about 90 percent recovered, will the Eagles really, and truly know how close Wentz will be to playing against the visiting Falcons on Sept. 6 at Lincoln Financial Field to kick off the 2018 NFL season.

At some point in the new few months, Wentz is going to hit a plateau and his rate of recovery will slow down.

Getting from 90 percent to 100 percent is the key point here, and the Eagles aren’t going to send Wentz into game action until he’s 100 percent healthy. Why take any risks? Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Nick Foles is ready to play and we know what he can do in this offense. The Eagles know they can win with Foles, because they’ve won it all with him at the quarterback position.

You’re going to read so many stories and hear so much talk in June and July and even into August about Wentz and his projected return. All of it means a whole lot of nothing.

The Eagles must prepare for two scenarios for the start of the regular season. One, they go with Foles after he takes all the first-team reps in the spring Organized Team Activities and through the preseason. Or, they prepare with Foles and then, if Wentz is cleared in the final days/weeks leading up to Sep. 6, work quickly to gain chemistry with The Franchise.

Either way, the answer right now to the question of when Wentz will return is that there is no answer. And that’s just the way it is, no matter how many times the question is asked. ••