Carson Wentz was having an MVP-caliber season before a torn ACL forced him to the sideline Nick Nelson Jersey Elite , where he watched Nick Foles lead the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory.
Wentz has a mission to return for Week 1 and is already ahead of schedule after being cleared for 7-on-7 work last week. Still, he has a way to go before he is cleared for full activity.
”It’s just a process,” Wentz told The Associated Press. ”There’s the mental side of it, feeling comfortable with it, but also the physical limitations that the doctors put on you and you have to trust what they’re saying. If I could tell you I’d be ready Week 1, I would. I just don’t know. It’s a fluid process. That’s obviously the goal but so far things have been great.”
Wentz’s comeback comes with interesting circumstances: He has no pressure to return right away because the Eagles can lean on the Super Bowl MVP to start the season. And that’s not necessarily a threat to Wentz, whose friendship with Foles doesn’t have the strain seen in other famed NFL tandems like Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers or Joe Montana and Steve Young.
”We’ve become so close ever since he first got here,” Wentz said. ”Developed a real friendship, a real relationship, more than just a working relationship, a true friendship.”
Wentz admits it was difficult to see someone else hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy on stage first. But the two quarterbacks are more like brothers than competitors for the starting job.
”It’s human nature to want to be on that podium and be the guy,” Wentz said. ”You grow up wanting to be there, but not being able to be up there Mason Cole Color Rush Jersey , there’s nobody I’d rather have up there than Nick.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson has made it clear there’s no quarterback controversy in Philadelphia since the minute Foles finished a sensational performance in the 41-33 win over the Patriots. When he’s healthy, Wentz is the guy. He’s the face of the franchise.
”I still believe this is Carson’s team,” Pederson said Tuesday. ”There are no egos involved. They’re in this thing together. Both support each other. Nick supported Carson during the season last year, and then Carson turned around and supported Nick at the end of the year.
”Their relationship has carried over into this spring and summer, and it’s really good. I see them working in the classroom. I see them working on the field. They keep talking. They want to get better individually. They want to get our team better. And so it’s been a really good, really good dynamic between those two.”
Foles has maintained since he replaced Wentz last December that he understands his role is the backup. He wants to start again in the NFL, but was happy to stay in Philadelphia.
”I’ve shown what I can do,” Foles said. ”I love the team and I love the city. I’m excited for Carson to get back.”
While he was focused on rehabbing and returning to the field as quickly as possible, Wentz pursued other interests during the offseason. He went to Haiti for the second time in less than a year in April – teammates Zach Ertz, Nate Sudfeld and Rashard Davis joined him – and launched plans for his Audience of One Foundation to build a sports complex in that country.
”Being able to partner up with Mission of Hope in Haiti and to see how everything is so Christ-centered, they had a sports complex in thought so we were on board for that,” Wentz said. ”I know how sports changed my life, how so many doors have opened up and how my faith has grown through guys who have mentored me in sports. Just to know that can be given and provided to the people in Haiti Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys , it’ll really change their perspective on so many things and restore some dignity and hope. It gets me fired up and I’m excited to go back and be hands-on and see the impact it’s making.”
Wentz then held the inaugural AO1 Foundation charity softball game at the home of the Philadelphia Phillies on June 1, drawing more than 25,000 fans who came out to see the Super Bowl champs compete in a home run derby – left guard Stefen Wisniewski was the winner with a fantastic power display – and a game that featured Foles and 23 other Eagles.
”The brotherhood we have on this team, we’re so close,” Wentz said. ”We genuinely care about each other. A lot of unselfish players. To see these guys come out (to support me) is so humbling.”
Before the game, Wentz also revealed a 25-foot food truck named ”Thy Kingdom Crumb” that will begin delivering free food to people in the Delaware Valley in August. The partnership between AO1 and The Connect Church aims to provide food not only to people in need but others in the community also.
”The goal is to provide something different, to provide the atmosphere to just love on people,” Wentz said. ”I think things that are free these days are kind of confusing. There’s no strings attached with this. I think people will just see and experience something different with that.”
Make no mistake, despite all his outside interests, Wentz is determined to help the Eagles become the ninth team to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
”The biggest thing is the culture of excellence that we’ve created,” Wentz said. ”I don’t see why the sky can’t be the limit for us again. Our roster is rock-solid and our camaraderie and our culture is still rock-solid and growing. We have high expectations.”
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With three days left in the NBA regular season, the Western Conference playoff picture is as murky as a swamp. Five teams are battling for the last four seeds and the order after the top two is still uncertain.
Two of the teams, on different paths Evan Bouchard Oilers Jersey , clash Monday night in Denver. The Portland Trail Blazers (48-32) have clinched a spot and are clinging to the third seed but have lost three in a row. The Denver Nuggets (45-35) are sitting ninth but are streaking, having won five straight.
The game has big meaning for both teams. The Blazers are trying to hold off the Utah Jazz to stay in the third spot, but they have stumbled. Their postseason seed will likely be determined when they host the Jazz on Wednesday night, but they aren’t worried about their current losing streak.
“We’re good,” guard CJ McCollum said after Saturday night’s loss in San Antonio. “If you had told me that we have 48 wins and have two games left and a chance to finish in third place, I would have told you I’ll take it.
“Considering where we’re at, there’s no excuses for injuries and stuff like that, but I feel like we’re heading in the right direction heading to the playoffs. We should be fully healthy or close to fully healthy and I think that will make a difference.”
Damian Lillard scored 33 points in the loss after missing one game with a sprained left ankle, and he’ll be ready to go against Denver on Monday night.
He’ll need to be the way the Nuggets have played of late. After escaping with two overtime victories last week, Denver has racked up three more solid wins. The 134-115 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon eliminated the Clippers and kept the Nuggets’ playoff hopes alive.
Denver probably must win its last two games — Monday and Wednesday in Minnesota — to make the postseason for the first time in five years, but they are a confident bunch.
“We’re playing get-it-done basketball,” Denver coach Michael Malone said after the win in L.A. “We’re finding ways to get the job done.”
The streak has been impressive because it has come without second leading scorer Gary Harris, who has missed 11 games with a sprained right knee. He isn’t expected back for the remaining two games of the regular season Tre'Quan Smith Jersey Elite , but in his absence others have stepped up.
Lately it has been Will Barton, who had 31 points in Saturday’s win.
“I relish in those moments,” Barton said Saturday. “I’d rather have (Harris) there, of course, especially with what we’re trying to accomplish. But one man down, I just gotta take it upon myself to be better.”
The Nuggets as a whole have been better, and it has put them on the brink of a playoff berth. It won’t be easy. The Trail Blazers are trying to get back on track before the start of the postseason, so both teams will have something big to play for.