PHILADELPHIA – Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz acknowledged that it was “a challenge” to watch Super Bowl LII from the sidelines, calling it a lesson in humility and faith during a media session Tuesday to mark the start of the team’s offseason training program. One minute he was a top candidate for league MVP, and the next he was out with a season-ending knee injury that shifted him into a support role while his backup, Nick Foles, helped deliver the city of Philadelphia its first Lombardi Trophy.
His relationship with Foles, though, helped ease the sting, he suggested, and should make for a less awkward situation as Wentz takes the reins back from the Super Bowl MVP.
“You’ve got to fight that,” said Wentz, speaking about any pangs of jealousy that came with Foles’ accomplishments in his stead. “It’s human nature to want to be on that podium and be that guy. You grow up wanting to do that as a kid, but to not be able to be up there, I would not rather have anyone else be up there than Nick.”
Wentz has been making strides in his recovery from a torn ACL and LCL, which he suffered against the Los Angeles Rams in December. He is in the “running progression” stage of his rehab and is “feeling good with where I’m at.” The target date for a return remains Week 1 of the regular season.
Should that goal be reached, Foles will return to his role as the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback barring a trade. He recently expressed the desire to be a starter again during an interview with a Texas ABC affiliate while also highlighting the positives of remaining with the Eagles for another season.
“We love Philly. I know there was some stuff going around [about] a possible trade, and I would love the opportunity to be a starter again,” said Foles. “I know my spot in Philly. I think I’ve shown what I can do. I’m signed for one more year and I love the team, I love the city. I’m excited for Carson to get back on his feet. I’ll be ready to go whenever they need me. But we’ll see; just living in the moment.”
While some teams inquired about potentially trading for Foles at the beginning of the league year, the Eagles set the price high and no deal was struck. Just about all the starting positions are now accounted for across the league, increasing the chances that Foles will remain in Philly in 2018.
Wentz said he hasn’t had the conversation about the dynamics of the upcoming season with Foles, but said those talks “will come and take care of themselves.” He did not sound particularly concerned about how the quarterback room would function coming off a most unusual Super Bowl run.
“Just last year and how it all unfolded, obviously it was pretty different but pretty special,” Wentz said. “He and I…we’ve been so close ever since he first got here and just developed a real friendship, a real relationship, more than just a working relationship – a true friendship between me and him and really Nate [Sudfeld] as well. A really special room. So to go through that experience last year was pretty cool.”