Wentz confident he will play in Eagles’ 2018 opener

PHILADELPHIA — Carson Wentz spoke Friday, Jan. 26, for the first time since his season-ending December knee injury and said he is confident’ that he’ll be back on the field for the Eagles’ 2018 season-opener next September.

“It’s hard to talk about timetables because these kinds of things are fluid,” the Eagles second-year quarterback from North Dakota State told reporters. “But I feel very confident, I truly believe, my goal is to be ready for Week 1. I’m going to push and do everything I can to be ready, and I’m confident in that.”

Wentz said he tore both the ACL and the LCL in his left knee, but said the second tear will not delay his recovery.

“The (rehab) progression is the same,” he said.

An Eagles medical source corroborated Wentz’s recovery timetable to Philadelphia Daily News reporter Les Bowen Friday. He told Bowen that Wentz should be ready for the start of the season. He added that the quarterback won’t be 100 percent by then, but that it will be safe for him to play.

Wentz was replaced by Nick Foles, who has guided the Eagles to two playoff wins over Atlanta and Minnesota and their first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years.

“Stepping into a situation like that, it’s tough,” Wentz said. “Obviously, you don’t get the reps during the season. He didn’t really have a preseason either since he was dealing with an (elbow) injury.

“I’ve been more than impressed with how he’s stepped up and handled it and is playing. The last game (against the Vikings) was unbelievable. I loved seeing that.”

Wentz has received some criticism for his style of play. He suffered the injury trying to run for a touchdown against the Rams. He had 26 rushing first downs this season, which were the second most among NFL quarterbacks at the time of his injury.

He said his injury won’t change the way he plays.

“I am who I am,” he said. “Injuries happen. Injuries aren’t going to change me. Guys talk about protecting yourself. We’ve debated and talked about that all season long.

“That will continue to grow and develop. But as far as playing aggressive and being the player that I am, I won’t change.”