We know. It’s been a long six months. But never fear: Football is back.
The Eagles begin training camp today in preparation for the 2019 season, which kicks off the second week of September.
Here’s what you need to know:
Thursday: Training camp begins. Practice at noon.
Aug. 4: Eagles open practice at Lincoln Financial Field, 7 p.m.
This is the only opportunity fans will have to watch an Eagles practice, and it’ll cost you. The team is charging $10 per person, with all proceeds going to autism research. This is a departure from recent years, and it’s the fewest public practices since the team moved training camp from Lehigh to the NovaCare Complex in South Philly in 2013.
» A LOOK BACK: The training-camp parking-lot scenes no one misses
Aug. 8: Preseason game No. 1 vs. Titans; 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 15: Preseason game No. 2 at Jaguars, 7 p.m.
Aug. 22: Preseason game No. 3 vs. Ravens, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 29: Preseason game No. 4 at Jets, 7 p.m.
Aug. 19 and 20: Joint practices with Ravens.
Have you blocked it out? The Eagles lost to the Saints, 20-14, in the divisional round of the playoffs in January. It brought to an end an up-and-down season and an unsuccessful Super Bowl title defense.
The Eagles finished 9-7, but got off to a rocky start, dropping three of their first five games. After beating the Jaguars in London, they entered the bye with a 4-4 record.
They lost both their divisional games to the Cowboys, but beat Washington and the Giants both twice. After a beatdown at the hands of the Saints on Nov. 18, the Eagles peeled off wins in five of their final six games.
For the second consecutive season, the Eagles quarterback missed the playoffs with an injury -- this time, it was a stress fracture in his back that sidelined him.
He appeared in just 11 games, missing the first two after coming back from his ACL tear in December 2017.
But his injury history didn’t stop the Eagles from considering a contract extension for their star. Wentz agreed to a four-year extension in June worth $128 million, keeping him with the team through the 2024 season. The deal includes the most guaranteed money in NFL history.
But is he completely healthy? He participated in all spring drills, so signs point to yes. But we’ll get our first glimpse today.
Nick Foles, the Eagles’ Super Bowl hero, has departed for warmer climates. He signed with the Jaguars in the offseason (yes, the same Jaguars the Eagles face in their second preseason game).
The backup who will have to step up is Nate Sudfeld. Paul Domowitch explores if Sudfeld is ready for the task.
The Eagles’ first-round draft pick is Andre Dillard. But if all goes according to plan, he won’t play much at all this year.
Miles Sanders, the second-round pick, is fighting for the top spot on the depth chart at running back. He’s been fighting his whole life.
Running back: Gone is Jay Ajayi. Miles Sanders is the future. But the Eagles did trade for Jordan Howard to tide them over until the rookie matures. Corey Clement and Darren Sproles will vie for time.
Receiver: DeSean Jackson, a little older and a little slower, is back. He joins Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. Golden Tate and Mike Wallace have moved on. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside will try to emerge.
Tight end: No changes, which is good for the Eagles. Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Richard Rodgers could be the best tight-end combo in the NFL, according to Jeff McLane.
Offensive line: Yes, oft-injured 37-year-old Jason Peters is expected to start, but that’s why Dillard was drafted. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has moved to guard and Stefen Wisniewski was brought back to guard against the uncertainty surrounding Brandon Brooks’ recovery from a torn Achilles.
Defensive line: A sea of changes swept the d-line in the offseason. Michael Bennett was traded. Chris Long and Haloti Ngata retired. Brandon Graham got a megadeal to stay, Derek Barnett is back from shoulder surgery, and Fletcher Cox is as solid as ever.
Malik Jackson will step in for the Ngata, and McLane thinks that is an instant upgrade. Expect Tim Jernigan to get time as a reserve. Will those players, plus the addition of Vinny Curry, be enough to make up for the loss of Bennett, Ngata and Long?
Linebacker: Zach Brown will be expected to step in for the departed Jordan Hicks. L.J. Fort was added for depth and special-teams reasons.
Cornerback: Will the cornerback shuffle of a season ago end in 2019? The Eagles will hope that Ronald Darby can meet his potential, and it’s a make-or-break year for players like Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox and Rasul Douglas.