Carson Wentz hasn't participated in team drills in five straight practices. Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson reiterated Friday that it's all part of the plan with the QB returning from a season-ending knee injury. Pederson added there was no setback for Wentz.
"No setbacks. Not at all. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing," the coach said.
The Eagles kept Wentz out of team sessions this week to avoid uncontrolled environments as he works his way back. Even in what was viewed as a lighter type of practice on Friday, Pederson said it wasn't controlled enough to put Wentz in the fire until he's cleared for contact.
"That's not controlled. The situation is controlled, but the actions are not..." the coach said. "It's still part of the plan. Not going to subject him to that right now."
After participating in a few team sessions early in training camp, the Eagles have kept Wentz on the sideline during 11-on-11 drills, having the QB participate mostly in individual work. Pederson was adamant that the move was part of the team's plan and shouldn't be considered a step back in terms of the signal-caller's progression.
"What you see out here is considered backwards. What we see in the building, and what he does with our strength and conditioning staff is still progressive," Pederson said. "It doesn't have to be every snap, every football situation for him to go forward. What you see out here is only one small tidbit of what he's doing collectively inside this building too."
After suffering ACL and LCL injuries in early December, Wentz has focused on being ready for the team's Week 1 tilt versus the Atlanta Falcons. There is a chance we might not see the 25-year-old in preseason games.
Pederson isn't worried about Wentz showing signs of rust if the quarterback doesn't take preseason reps and isn't cleared for contact until late in training camp.
"Carson's out here working his tail off every single day," the coach said. "He's throwing individual routes. There is going to come a time when we game plan, and we are gameplan-specific, and he gets a chance to be in there, then we work. But right now, 7-on-7, and the things that we are doing with the starters and Carson and all that is preparing him for that day we cross that bridge."
For a player that started his first NFL game after missing the last three tilts of the 2016 preseason, the Eagles are right not to fret about Wentz at this point. Until he's cleared for contact, however, the questions about his status will persist.