Philadelphia, PA (AP) – Carson Wentz has been waiting for this moment since he tore up his knee last December.
No. 11 will be back under center for the Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) against the Indianapolis Colts (1-1) on Sunday after watching his teammates win the Super Bowl without him in February, and missing the first two games this season.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Wentz said. “It’s been quite the grind of an offseason. There’s a lot of excitement, a lot of built-up almost anxiety over when it was going to be that time, and almost relief finally being cleared to get back out there.”
Nick Foles, the Super Bowl MVP in Philadelphia’s 41-33 win over New England, returns to the sideline to make way for Wentz, who finished third in NFL MVP voting after setting a single-season franchise record with 33 touchdown passes and helping the Eagles go from 7-9 to 13-3.
Wentz will wear a brace on his left knee – he tore his ACL and LCL in Week 14 diving into the end zone on a scramble. He doesn’t plan to change the way he plays, but understands the importance of avoiding hits.
“I feel extremely confident moving around, on the run,” he said. “Even last year, I never said I’m a running quarterback. I never want to be. But I’ll find ways to extend time in the pocket and make plays down the field. I don’t think that’s ever going anywhere.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson isn’t going to alter his game plan or his philosophy to accommodate a quarterback returning from injury, even if it’s the face of the franchise.
“I’m not going to coach scared. I’m not going to coach paranoid,” Pederson said. “I’m not going to go in thinking, ‘Oh no, we can’t do ‘this,’ we can’t do ‘that.’ We just have to continue to go play and I (have) to coach that way. That’s where the confidence with the team comes, by doing that.”