Doug Pederson Hasn’t Decided if Carson Wentz Will Play on Thursday Night

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles preseason football is upon us, if you can believe. We’re a little more than 50 hours and counting until the Birds and Titans square off at Lincoln Financial Field.

If you’re wondering whether or not Carson Wentz will play on Thursday, that apparently has yet to be determined. Doug Pederson says the team is holding a personnel meeting Tuesday afternoon and is “still working through a bunch of stuff,” which extends to other valuable and/or more fragile starters like Jason Peters.

We have a lot of bodies we want to see in this game so we haven’t made a determination yet,” Pederson said after practice this morning.

The arguments for and against seem rather simple. We’d all love to see Wentz on the field, but Pederson admitted that the coaching staff wants to get a good look at the unproven backups on the roster.

“Obviously, (the reason) for, is that it’s been a while before he has been on the field and we want to get him that feel of being back on the grass again in a competitive live situation,” the ball coach said. “Obviously, the reason for holding him is to still evaluate Nate and some of the other quarterbacks with Cody and Clayton. Those are the things we are working through and we will let you know as soon as we get the answers.

Wentz also spoke to reporters today, explaining that he’d be “fine either way” with whatever decision the coaching staff makes.

“It’s always a fine line,” said the quarterback, when asked how much time he thinks he needs this preseason. “I think I mentioned last time that my preseasons have looked vastly different every year, so I don’t really know if I have a formula for it. I think a little bit is helpful but it’s definitely never needed, so I’ll trust coach to make those decisions.

As for Nate Sudfeld, he’s thrown a whopping 25 career NFL passes, 23 of which came in the 2017 Dallas game at the end of the season. He’s certainly not a proven QB at this stage in his career, but Pederson explained that the coaching staff can indeed learn more about his game in the preseason, which does provide a barometer for performance.

“I think it can be a really good indication for him,” Pederson said. “You know, the goal would be to get him as much time as we can behind center in these four games. I don’t want him to feel like there’s any kind of pressure but there’s always pressure to just go perform and just play. He’s very comfortable with the offense. I think by cutting it down, too, the volume of information, even for a guy that’s been here, can help, when you cut the volume down.”

“Just again, I want to see him just manage the team, manage the offense, execute the offense, get us in the end zone, and do the things that he’s capable of doing, and I think that there kind of shows what he can do possibly in the regular season.”

A few more notes from today’s presser:

  • Big V will play right guard on Thursday night
  • it will be “good” for Orlando Scandrick and Johnathan Cyprien to “get out there, too, with a new set of guys, new team and just again execute the defense.”
  • they are not looking at any specific positions, though the focus will narrow as they get into games 2, 3, and 4 of the preseason
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill’s injury is a good opportunity to Nate Gerry to get playing time with the first team defense
  • Clayton Thorson is getting more comfortable with the team and the offense

Doug also started his press conference by offering condolences to the family of Don Banks, the longtime NFL writer who died at age 56 this weekend. Banks covered the game for more than three decades, working at Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, The Athletic, and the Patriots’ website. If you Google “Don Banks” or type his name into the Twitter search bar, you’ll see all sorts of tributes from writers, team accounts, and coaches as well, including Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia, and John Harbaugh.

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