Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Tuesday that the team will likely make a decision on which quarterback starts the regular-season opener by Friday.
The Eagles host the Falcons on Thursday to kick off the NFL season, but it remains unclear whether Carson Wentz will be cleared to play as he recovers from torn ligaments in his knee, or if Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles will get the start.
Asked when his deadline will be to announce who’s starting, Pederson replied, “Deadline? 90 minutes before kickoff. Privately? Probably Friday.”
Six days before the opener, Friday equates to a Monday during a typical game week, and the Eagles’ plan is to have the expected starter take the lion’s share of the work during practices leading up to the game, which begin Sunday.
“When you get into the regular season and start game-planning, yeah, you want whoever that gentleman is going to be to take the full complement of reps,” Pederson said.
Wentz and Foles have been splitting first-team reps evenly during practice, according to Pederson, but both Wentz and his coach have said the QB’s availability will come down to the wire. If Wentz does not play against the Falcons, he will have 10 days before the team’s Week 2 game, a visit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 16.
Whenever Wentz is cleared to play, Pederson does not appear concerned about the quarterback getting himself into game shape.
“When he came back into the 11-on-11, one of the noticeable changes or differences was just his lower body strength and how well he’s progressed through his rehab and conditioning,” Pederson said. “...I think it’s realistic to say he’s probably a little bit more conditioned at this point of camp than the other.”
Wentz, 25, hasn’t played since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament Dec. 10 of last year. He had surgery three days later.