Carson Wentz wants all of the injury questions to be a thing of the past. He knows that the only way to make that happen is to stay on the football field and do what he does best – escape pressure, use his legs to buy time, sling touchdown passes. He’s off to a good start in 2019.
When the Eagles opened their Organized Team Activities last week at the NovaCare Complex, Wentz was on the field, cleared to play after missing the final month of the 2018 regular season and the two-game playoff set because of a back injury. Wentz, wearing the red practice jersey that means DO NOT TOUCH, flowed in and out of the pocket and showed off his arm strength and quick release. He looked very much like Carson Wentz.
The Eagles need him to stay that way.
“I love any time we can get on the field together and start building that chemistry, talking through things with guys so they see it as I see it and vice versa, so anytime we can be out there, I love it,” Wentz said. “Missing some of that time last offseason was a bummer, but at the same time I wouldn’t say it was the end-all, be-all, but it definitely is helpful, especially this year with a couple of new faces in there.
“It’s definitely helpful. I think you’ll see dividends come the fall.”
The Eagles have spent the offseason bolstering the offense around Wentz, adding wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back Jordan Howard in trades, bringing in wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and running back Miles Sanders in the draft and fortifying the offensive line by using the No. 1 draft pick on left tackle Andre Dillard and re-signing valuable reserve offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski in free agency. The whole idea is to make Wentz even more potent with a balanced attack that has versatility and explosiveness, along with options up and down the depth chart.
It all works if, of course, Wentz plays the entire season. He missed the final three games of 2017 and the Super Bowl run with a torn knee ligament. Last year, the back injury KO’d Wentz for the final three games of the regular season and the postseason. Wentz, now playing without a left knee brace, altered his diet and his workout routine, all with the hope that the changes will help his health and longevity in 2019 and beyond.
“I feel good. I feel strong. I feel quick,” Wentz said, “and I think some of those things are paying off. At the end of the day, my body feels good, feels strong, and I think it will help this season. For me, it’s physically getting strong, feeling better, and looking forward to staying healthy for my career.”
An offseason spent addressing all corners of the roster put the Eagles in a competitive position for the season to come. They’re going to have a roster that is, with the benefit of a deep glance, depth at every position. It all has to come together, as we know, but the Eagles look like a team that could have a big 2019. It helps immeasurably if No. 11, franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, breaks his injury string and stays on the field and distributes the football to his many offensive weapons. The master plan is an ambitious one, and it includes having Wentz healthy, happy and thriving with a loaded offensive roster around him. ••