Nick Foles may miss the start of the season for the Eagles, but the team cannot afford to let his injury change anything for Carson Wentz.
If Nick Foles isn’t going to be ready to start the season then the Eagles are going to be very tempted to rush Carson Wentz back into action. That’s the worst thing the team can do for its long-term prospects. Wentz’s health has to remain the team’s first priority.
Of course, everyone in Philadelphia hopes Foles’ shoulder injury isn’t all that serious. If it’s just a strain, it’s very possible he can recover in time to start the season against the Atlanta Falcons. The entire Eagles’ organization will be awaiting the test results on Foles’ shoulder in the coming days.
If the team does get bad news about Foles’ health, they need to immediately make it clear to Wentz that nothing about his rehabilitation schedule is going to change. Inevitably, Wentz is going to push team officials to ramp up his activity to make up for Foles’ absence. The team have to protect their prized asset in this situation. Hurrying Wentz back from his ACL injury could be disastrous for his future as the team’s franchise quarterback.
The Eagles’ front office can head any potential conflict off by communicating to Wentz proactively. Doug Pederson and company need to assure him that his current recovery schedule is what’s best for his health. Wentz can try to rail against that logic, but the team can ultimately dictate the terms of his medical recovery. Doing so against a player’s wishes can be difficult, but it’s something the Eagles have to do.
Playing things conservatively could hand a start or two to the team’s third-string quarterback, Nate Sudfeld. That isn’t an ideal scenario for the Eagles’ hopes of defending their Super Bowl crown, but no one can afford to take the short view here. Even if Philadelphia stumbles out of the gate, there’s enough talent on this roster to make a major push for the postseason once Wentz is able to return to the field.
Losing two quarterbacks definitely represents bad luck for the Eagles, but they can’t compound their misfortune with poor decision-making. Wentz cannot be rushed back onto the field for any reason. Even if his absence costs Philadelphia the chance to win big in 2018, they have to play the long game. Wentz is the kind of talent who can define a franchise for a decade or more. Sacrificing his health to get off to a good start this season would be front office malpractice by Philadelphia.