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Carson Wentz and Quenton Nelson on Schedule for Week 1 Start

August 13, 2021
Carson Wentz may return for week 1

The Colts have received good news on the injury front for the first time since training camps opened two weeks ago. The dueling foot surgeries performed on quarterback Carson Wentz and All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson are becoming the best-case scenario, and both players are on track to make Week 1 starts.

You may remember that the initial recovery timeline was between five weeks and 12 weeks, which could have had both men missing the first six games of the season. Instead, they will just miss the rest of the preseason, and if things continue to progress as they are, both men will be ready when the season kicks off against the Seahawks.

Head coach Frank Reich remained cautiously optimistic, telling reporters that until Wentz actually tests the foot in action, he won’t really know when he’ll be ready to play, and any such test is at least a week away. But Reich used the words “exceedingly well” and did talk about a Week 1 availability, which to come from a coach in the midst of a press conference with coach speak, is a strong indication.

Having Wentz ready to play when the season starts is excellent news for the Colts and great news for the Eagles. If Wentz takes at least 75% of the snaps this season, then the trade compensation to Philadelphia becomes a first-round pick. Less than that, and the Eagles will receive next year’s second-round pick.

The news also makes the NFL division odds for the Colts a potential value at the current price of +140. Before the Wentz news broke, Indianapolis were neck-and-neck with the Tennessee Titans to win the AFC South according to sportsbook odds.

Dak Prescott Throwing, Will Have Another MRI

This week at practice, Dak Prescott was seen throwing to injured Amari Cooper, which is a good sign. And Prescott himself told reporters that it “felt good out there.” And maybe this is nothing more than a precautionary but, as the Cowboys insist, but Prescott will have another MRI on his shoulder when the team breaks camp this weekend.

Prescott’s recovery from the broken leg and dislocated ankle that ended his season a year ago seem to be fine. It’s a shoulder strain sustained two weeks ago that has put his 2021 on hold. But Prescott says that he’s taking it slow, easing back into things, and even with his current shoulder ailment, he still expects to play in Week 1 against the Buccaneers.

Betting markets responded to the news by dumping money on the under for Dallas’ NFL regular-season win odds at the sportsbook. While their total still stands at 9½ projected wins for the 2021 season, the vig on the under grew to as much as -140 before being bought back to flat odds.

Michael Thomas Reportedly Not Seeking Trade

Things have been dicey in New Orleans between the Saints and superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas. He reportedly waited at least four months to have offseason surgery and ignored the calls and advice from team doctors and trainers. Thomas then took to social media to fire back at the Saints, accusing them of trying to hurt his reputation. But reports now say that the two sides are looking for reconciliation and not a divorce.

Citing sources within the Saints, Yahoo Sports said that head coach Sean Payton and Thomas recently met and had a positive conversation about their future together.

“They had a good talk. I think they both believe it’s not anything that has to go any further than what is already out there. There was some frustration from both viewpoints, and that was the point of the meeting.”

There are multiple reasons for both sides to want to heal this rift. Coming off the injury, and with his big contract, the value that New Orleans could get back in a trade is far below what Thomas actually brings to the field. And for Thomas, with Drew Brees no longer in the NFL, he becomes the biggest star in New Orleans.

Aldon Smith Cut by Seattle

Defensive end Aldon Smith may be out of the chances in the NFL, as his most recent team, Seattle, has cut the former All-Pro.

After four seasons away from football because of suspensions, Smith returned in 2020 and played a full year for the Cowboys, recording five sacks. But since signing with Seattle this offseason, yet another arrest warrant was issued for Smith for second-degree battery.

That warrant was issued in April, and the Seahawks have known about it since then. But according to reports, something more recent has happened, and Smith is off the team because he violated the team’s trust.