Fewer than six months ago, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz tore an ACL. With Eagles fans everywhere wondering whether he’ll be ready for Week One (and some of them perhaps secretly hoping he won’t be, so that Nick Foles can take a proper victory lap for winning Super Bowl LII), Wentz was back on the practice field Tuesday, as the Eagles launched Organized Team Activities.
Wentz, of course, didn’t actually participate in any team activities. But he did throw the football, which is still more than Andrew Luck can say.
“I’m just learning how to trust it, trust your knee, trust your movement, all of those things,” Wentz said, via the Associated Press. “That comes over time.”
Even though Wentz’s left knee injury didn’t happen in the pocket, it could take time for him to trust planting his lead leg and throwing the ball with confidence. Former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer experienced those sensations in the wake of the first of two torn ACLs that he suffered during his career.
“It took me a full year, plus another six, seven games into the next season, to really feel comfortable again and not see ghosts,” Palmer said in 2015, via SI.com. “There would be times when I’d drop back and I’d see color flash, and I’d pull my leg back or not step into a throw because the memory was fresh.”
Wentz will need to not see ghosts when in the pocket, when out of the pocket, or when running down the field. He has said his game won’t change, but if he’s overly conscious of protecting it, that could be a problem.
“Anytime you’re rehabbing, you have to be careful,” Wentz said. “Trust what the trainers and doctors are saying and be smart with it.”
Being smart applies in many different ways for Wentz. Balanced against that will be the urgency to get back onto the field before Foles potentially performs well enough to keep Wentz on the sidelines well after he’s good enough to play.