@JackMcCaffery on Twitter
PHILADELPHIA >> Carson
Wentz did not make it through his first Eagles game without an issue.
After not throwing a pass in
a morning practice Saturday at the NovaCare Complex, the rookie quarterback was
diagnosed with a “hairline fracture in his ribs,” according to the Eagles.
The Eagles did not specify
when Wentz could return to football, though Doug Pederson hinted that it could
be before the end of the preseason.
Earlier, the Birds' head
coach did not seem concerned that Wentz was complaining of pain on his
right-side ribs, indicating that the quarterback would participate in practice
Sunday. But Wentz retreated to the locker room and sent word through the
Eagles' communications staff that he would not be available for comment.
Later, the Birds released
this statement from Pederson: “Carson felt some discomfort and soreness as we
began this morning’s practice. We decided to limit him throughout the remainder
of practice and, as a precaution, sent him for a CT scan after practice. The
scan revealed a hairline fracture in his ribs. We do not know an exact
timetable for his return, but we hope to have him back before the end of the
Wentz completed 12 of 24
passes for 89 yards and rush three times for 15 yards in his Eagles preseason
“If you were watching the
game the other night, he took a shot,” Pederson said. “It was around the
next-to-last play. He got up a little slow. So he is just sore today. We just
wanted to protect him, so he didn’t throw.”
Wentz was not expected to
play much, if at all, for the Eagles this season. Rather, he was to develop
while learning from Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. The injury could compromise
his early, training-camp development.
“It bothered him to throw a
little bit,” Pederson said earlier Saturday. “But he’s fine.”
Bradford pocketed $11
million to sign last offseason with the Eagles, the first payment on a contract
that could be worth up to $36 million.
He was just thinking out
loud Saturday, but he figures they probably expect him to appear in more than
three plays a game.
After joking with reporters
that he would take as much time as necessary analyzing all three of the plays
he ran, two of them handoffs, in the Birds’ preseason opener, Bradford
acknowledged that he will play substantially longer in the next game, Thursday
“We really haven’t talked
about that a lot,” he said. “I am sure in the next couple days we will go over
that. I’m assuming we will play quite a bit over the next couple of games. I
think it will be great for us to get out there and establish a little bit of a
rhythm, get into some more game situations, try to simulate what we are going
to see in Week 1 and just try to get some live action.”
Though the Eagles must
certainly see Bradford for more than three plays against the Steelers, Pederson
is committed to spreading the quarterback playing-time around.
“We are staying equal,” he
said, before learning of Wentz's cracked rib, “with all three.”
With Lane Johnson almost
certain to miss the Birds’ first 10 regular-season games due to a failed test
for performance-enhancing drugs, Pederson is adapting. Saturday, he used Allen
Barbre at Johnson’s right-tackle spot, dropping Johnson to the second team.
“He’s played there, No. 1,”
the coach said of Barbre. “It’s been more left tackle than right, but he’s been
there in the past. I love his athleticism. He’s a smart guy out there.”
Left tackle Jason Peters was
back Saturday after missing the preseason opener with a quad injury. Pederson
experimented with multiple combinations throughout the practice, which unfolded
in 96-degree heat.
“Obviously, you got ‘Big V’
(Halapoulivaati Vaitai) sitting right there,” the head coach said. “Of course,
Jason Peters is on the left side. Matt Tobin can play both sides, and he played
well the other night in limited reps.
“But it’s a situation where
this is the time. Once you get kind of through that first game, you start shuffling
your roster a little bit.”
Pederson was not committing
to any particular alignment.
“What happens if Jason
Peters goes down during the regular season, or Jason Kelce goes down during the
regular season?” he said. “I just want to see different guys at those spots. In
order to do that you’ve got to take time now, this week in camp, to get that
“I’m looking for five tough,
dirty, nasty guys that want to go out and just play football,” he said. “I don’t
care which five it is, but we’re going to find the best five and the right
five. And I feel like we’ve got them here on the team.”
NOTES: Malcolm Jenkins
(quad), Wendell Smallwood (quad) and Marcus Smith (concussion) practiced, if on
a limited basis, Saturday … Brandon Brooks, who left the Tampa Bay game early
with a biceps issue, is back. Pederson: “He’s fine.” … After a tape review, Pederson touted Fletcher
Cox and Jaylen Watkins for their performances against the Bucs … Pederson said
he would take the Birds indoors for a walk-through Saturday and a similar
exercise Sunday morning. Sunday night at 7, the Birds’ practice in the Linc
will be open to the public. Admission is free.