Carson Wentz cleared to return, will start Sunday

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Carson Wentz is back.

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Monday that Wentz has been medically cleared and will start Week 3 versus the Indianapolis Colts.

"He's ready, ready to take the reins again and move forward," coach Doug Pederson said Monday.

Sunday will mark the first time Wentz will see the field since tearing his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10, 2017.

The Eagles were patient in bringing back their MVP candidate following knee surgery. Wentz participated early in training camp with the team optimistic he would return for the opener. The quarterback, however, was not medically cleared for contact until Monday.

The Eagles owned the luxury of deploying Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to open the season, allowing them to tread carefully with Wentz's return.

After two weeks watching an up-and-down Foles lead the Eagles to a 1-1 start while averaging 5.5 yards per attempt and a 78.9 passer rating, Wentz is back under center. The Eagles squeaked by the Falcons in the opener and fell to the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Pederson said he has no plans to hold Wentz back, expects no limitations, and won't "coach scared" with the QB returning from injury.

"He's going to be prepared mentally, now it's a matter of the physical part taking over," Pederson said. "... In my mind, he's cleared, he's cleared. No need to hold back."

Wentz's return will provide a much-needed boost to the Eagles offense that struggled with consistency under Foles. How long it takes Wentz to shake off the rust remains to be seen.

"I think there's going to be maybe an issue or two. It's going to take some time to get back into the rhythm of the flow of game," Pederson said. "The speed of the game is different than the speed of practice. So we do everything we can to try to simulate that during the week and try to prepare him that way.

"He's going to be prepared mentally. Now it's just a matter of the physical part taking over."

When last we saw Wentz on the field, the 25-year-old quarterback was performing at an MVP-level, making breathtaking throws, and using Houdini-like magic to escape rushes.

One issue Wentz must overcome in his return is a battered Eagles receiving corps. Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) remains week-to-week, Pederson said Monday. Mike Wallace fractured his fibula in Sunday's game and is out an undetermined about of time. And Mack Hollins is on IR with a groin issue.

The injuries mean beyond Nelson Agholor, there isn't much in the receiver corps for Wentz to rely on in his return. Kamar Aiken, DeAndre Carter and Shelton Gibson are currently the top receivers in line for outside snaps. It wouldn't be a surprise if Philly looked to bring in help this week.

With the injuries to the receivers, Wentz will look to attack with favorite target Zach Ertz, rookie tight end Dallas Goedert and running back Corey Clement.

Wentz isn't a panacea for all that ills the Eagles' offense, but it sure will be good to see the wunderkind back on the field.

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