If all goes as planned at quarterback for the Eagles this season, coach Doug Pederson will keep rookie Carson Wentz inactive on game days. Pederson plans to start Sam Bradford and dress Chase Daniel as his backup, and the restriction of 46 active players on game days would likely mean that Wentz will be one of the seven players inactive.
"Typically, the third quarterback is down," Pederson said during a June interview. "It's hard right now to look down the road, but if we had to play this week, Carson would be down. He'd be the third quarterback. He'd be deactivated. That's probably the direction we're heading, I would think is going that route. Obviously barring injury and, as you know, how this game is, but typically the third quarterback, whoever that is, is down on game day."
Pederson will not need to worry about inactives until 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 11, so it's all speculation at this point. But the topic offers insight into how the Eagles plan to bring Wentz along this season. When Pederson was asked in the spring if he'd allocate series in games for Wentz -- as Andy Reid did for Donovan McNabb in 1999 -- Pederson said he couldn't see that happening with Daniel on the roster as the backup.
More than anything this spring, Pederson was emphatic about the order at quarterback. It remained a hot topic throughout the offseason program, and considering the investment the Eagles made in Wentz, it will likely continue as there's more exposure to Wentz's development and how Bradford performs.
But Pederson has never swayed from his desire to have Bradford as the starter, Daniel as the backup, and Wentz developing as the third-string quarterback. And unless injury or performance changes opinions in August, Wentz will not likely be eligible to enter the game in Week 1.
"I wanted Sam on this roster way back even when I was hired," Pederson said. "One of the first things I did was evaluate his game last year and really liked what I saw. All intentions were, and are, he comes in being the No. 1, being the starter. My feelings haven't changed there whatsoever."