The biggest offseason question for the Philadelphia Eagles looms in the coming days: Will Carson Wentz play Week 1?
Eagles coach Doug Pederson has declined to say publicly whether the franchise quarterback will be cleared for contact in time for Thursday's season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. What earlier in the summer seemed destined isn't quite so sure.
The doctor who repaired Wentz's torn ACL and LCL, Dr. Jim Bradley, told John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia, he'd recommend playing it safe.
"It should be a cautious approach," Bradley said Friday in a phone interview. "What's a few games over 12 to 15 years?"
This thought process is obviously one the Eagles medical and coaching staff is considering. Why risk further injury that could wipe out another 10 games just to get him on the field for Week 1? We've seen players come back too soon and regret it -- anyone remember Robert Griffin III's "All in for week 1" Adidas-sponsored mantra? How'd that work out?
As much as Wentz wants to be on the field with his teammates when the season kicks off, it's the team's responsibility to save a player from himself.
Bradley noted that because Wentz's injury was "much more" than a torn ACL, the longer he waits to return lessens the chance of a re-rupture.
If Wentz is cleared to play, then let's roll. But if he isn't fully ready, the Eagles should be confident to play behind Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, despite a rocky preseason, until Wentz is 100 percent.
Bradley added Wentz is "definitely ahead" of schedule in his rehab, as the quarterback has been all summer. Ahead of schedule and ready to play Week 1, however, are not necessarily the same.