CLEVELAND - Two years ago before the third preseason game, Carson Wentz, then a rookie healing from cracked ribs, went under an intense and lengthy workout on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
I'll never forget walking off the field that day and seeing the look Frank Reich gave me. That was exactly when the Eagles realized Wentz was ready to not only play but be the starter. Seven days later, the Eagles traded Sam Bradford and went forward with their franchise quarterback.
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I'm bringing that up now, because it certainly felt like Wentz had a similar workout before Thursday night's game on the field at FirstEnergy Stadium on the banks of Lake Erie.
Wentz looks ready to play.
Wentz still has to be cleared for contact before he can play, but his goal still remains Week 1. He won't play against the Browns; but he got his work in. This was the first time in the preseason that Wentz has gone through a similar workout before a game.
The 25-year-old quarterback went through a 34-minute intense session while head coach Doug Pederson, offensive coordinator Mike Groh and vice president of football operations Howie Roseman watched on.
Sure, it was just a workout three hours before the game, but Wentz certainly looks like a guy who is ready to play football.
After the workout was over, Wentz threw additional passes to his favorite target, Zach Ertz, for several more minutes. He was on the field for exactly one hour in total.
We're just two weeks from the Eagles' season opener against the Falcons on Sept. 6 at the Linc. Wentz still has to get cleared to play, but if he does get cleared, he looks ready to go.
In addition to Wentz, Nelson Agholor, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey, Markus Wheaton, Kamar Aiken, Richard Rodgers and Josh Perkins are all expected to miss Thursday night's game with assorted injuries.
Mack Hollins, who reportedly had sports hernia surgery this offseason, is also not playing even though he returned to practice this week.
WR Mack Hollins will not play tonight— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunnNBCS) August 23, 2018
Darren Sproles and Jason Peters are healthy but won't play either. Pederson said earlier this week that he doesn't need to see the two veterans during the preseason. It's all about getting them ready for Week 1.
Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan and Chris Maragos aren't playing either. They're still on the PUP and NFI lists. Jeffery is the closest to a return of the three.
Josh Adams (hamstring) is in uniform tonight after missing the last game. Jalen Mills (lower body) is in uniform and it looks like he's playing. Nick Foles will start the game after leaving last week's game early with a shoulder strain.