FIERRO: Report says Carson Wentz could return for Philadelphia Eagles as early as Sunday

(Allentown) Morning Call (TNS)

Maybe Doug Pederson needs to launch another investigation.

The Philadelphia Eagles coach, already perturbed that a league employee, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, is reporting all kinds of updates on quarterback Carson Wentz, has another report to deal with now.

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz is recovering from December knee surgery. AP FILE PHOTO

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Wentz, who is recovering from December knee surgery, could be back in his starting job as early as next Sunday at Tampa Bay.

“There is much more optimism inside Eagles organization that Carson Wentz’s return is coming sooner than later,” Mortensen tweeted. “Not ruled out this week but week 3 sounds more realistic. His GPS data has hit a vital threshold — ability to protect himself. Only a setback would cool optimism.”

More unsettling is that Mortensen refers to the GPS data the team records on all its players with the help of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips installed in their shoulder pads. The data helps them better evaluate players’ abilities to perform in specific game situations as well as their progress in recovering from injuries.

The Eagles have guarded this information like launch codes to the nation’s nuclear missile silos ever since owner Jeffrey Lurie first talked (without being specific) about the exciting possibilities of this new relatively new technology at the 2016 NFL Meetings.

Wentz still has not been cleared for contact, but he has been mostly a full participant in practice for the better part of the last month.

Nick Foles started Thursday night’s season opener for the Eagles, who defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 18-12.

Appearing on ESPN’s NFL Countdown, Mortensen added: “There is much more optimism that prevails then pessimism. He hasn't been ruled out for Week 2, hasn't been cleared. I think the organizational sources I spoke to say they wouldn’t be surprised if he’s ready for Week 3.”

Meanwhile, on FOX’s NFL Kickoff, Colin Cowherd matter-of-factly mentioned that Wentz won’t be back until October.

Who’s right?

Doesn’t seem to matter as much as who’s talking.

Last week, following a report by Rapoport that the team is considering sitting Wentz for a few more weeks, Pederson said: “You know what, I’ve seen it, but I’m going to investigate that a little bit more and see where and why and when that came out. But I’m not going to comment too much more on it.”

Pederson is not scheduled to meet the media until Wednesday. Wentz is not expected to be made available for comment until being cleared to return.