Carson Wentz is the new surprise starter for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1, and maybe they did it because the opponent is the punchless Browns, but perhaps they did it because the rookie from North Dakota State has arrived ahead of schedule.
After the Eagles gave up way too much to trade up for Wentz, the team said he’d be the #3 starter this year, and likely would be inactive for much of the season as he got acclimated to the speed of the NFL. On some level, it was understandable – Wentz had played one game against Division I competition in college, and that was vs a bad Iowa State team. In 2014.
But this is how Wentz arrived at the starting job: He took 39 snaps in a preseason game before injuring his ribs, and he hasn’t played since. Chase Daniel, who was signed in the offseason to be Sam Bradford’s backup, was awful in the preseason. Then Minnesota starter Teddy Bridgewater suffered a gruesome injury. Then the Vikings gave up two draft picks for Sam Bradford, a deal the Eagles couldn’t turn down.
Then Philadelphia decided to start Wentz.
A quick reminder: Jared Goff, the number one pick in the 2016 draft – the Rams traded up for him, just like the Eagles did for Wentz – is the #3 QB in Los Angeles behind Case Keenum and Sean Mannion.
It’s a little scary that Wentz could go from “we’ll sit him all/most of the season” to starter Week 1, while the opposite has been true for Goff. The night he was drafted by the Rams, coach Jeff Fisher said he could start Week 1. Now, he’s 3rd string.