Carson Wentz continues to increase his workload, as he returns from a major knee injury.
After surprising some in the media with how much he could practice during the previous two weeks of spring workouts, the Eagles quarterback took another step forward this week and has participated in 7-on-7 drills. Eagles coach Doug Pederson confirmed that his starting quarterback would again take snaps during 7-on-7s on Wednesday, the first day this week that reporters have access.
"Part of the rehab process with him is giving him a little more — I don't want to say freedom — but a little more practice time," Pederson said at the NovaCare Complex. "And one of the controlled environments that we can, obviously, put him in is a 7-on-7 situation. So being able to sprinkle him in and just watch him more in an up-tempo type of practice, in those situations, has been good. We'll continue to do that these next two days and next week and just keep building as we go."
Backup quarterback Nick Foles had been taking all the repetitions with the first-team offense. It's unclear if Wentz has been working with the starters or the reserves. His workload during two open practices the previous two weeks consisted of individual drills, throwing to receivers and participating in 2-on-2 drills.
If it weren't for the knee brace on his left knee, it would be difficult to detect that Wentz was just 5 1/2 months removed from surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. Peterson declined to say whether his quarterback was ahead of schedule or whether he was surprised by his progress, and mentioned other players such as tackle Jason Peters, running back Darren Sproles and linebacker Jordan Hicks, who were also coming back from major injuries.
"I'm very pleased and very encouraged with all those guys, where they are, physically right now," Pederson said. "And, listen, we're going slow. We're not pushing any one of these players to get back. We're taking it slow, and we're going to make sure they're 100 percent."
Michael Bennett was still absent from organized team activities, Peterson confirmed. The new Eagles defensive end has opted to skip the voluntary workouts, but Pederson said he was present a "few weeks ago" during the early portion of the Phase 2 period.
"You worried about Michael Bennett?" Pederson asked a reporter. "I'm not."