Nick Foles will quarterback the Eagles against the Atlanta Falcons in Thursday's season opener, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted Saturday.
The decision is not a huge surprise, given that Carson Wentz's surgeon, James Bradley, told NBC10 reporter John Clark a day earlier that he thought it best to be cautious with the long-term future of the franchise. Wentz underwent ACL and LCL repairs to his left knee on Dec. 13. Medical studies show that athletes who return less than nine months after surgery tend to re-tear their ligaments up to 40 percent more frequently than those who wait nine months. The defending Super Bowl champs' opener comes eight months and three weeks after Wentz's surgery.
Wentz's repairs will continue to strengthen for up to two years, but It isn't clear, doctors say, that a week this way or that way makes a huge difference. One thing is clear — there is no harm in waiting another week or two, and a doctor who urges caution is not going to be second-guessed, in this circumstance. Clearing Wentz for the opener, though, if he were to be reinjured, certainly would be second-guessed.
Foles led the Eagles to the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history, and was named the game MVP. He was not effective in two preseason appearances, perhaps because the offense was missing several key contributors.
Eagles football operations vice president Howie Roseman refused to confirm or deny Rapoport's report when Roseman met with reporters Saturday to discuss the roster cut down from 90 players to 53.