PHILADELPHIA — The Carson Wentz Era is now for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Wentz will start Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns despite missing the final three preseason games after injuring his ribs in the opener.
Coach Doug Pederson made the announcement Monday, two days after the Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings for a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 conditional fourth-round pick.
“Everybody feels like this kid is ready to go,” Pederson said. “We drafted him to take on the reins. It’s something now that we’re prepared to do. He’s such a special guy. This stage not too big for him.”
The Eagles traded up twice in the draft to select Wentz at No. 2 overall. They recovered some of the draft picks they lost by dealing Bradford to the desperate Vikings, who lost Teddy Bridgewater for at least the 2016 season following a severe knee injury.
“It was right for this football team,” Pederson said of the blockbuster trade. “It’s something that we believe in. I believe in. This is why we drafted (Wentz). Would an ideal situation be later than sooner? Sure. But right now, where we are, we’ve got a good football team around him. All the pieces are here for him to be successful and us to win some games.”
Chase Daniel will be the backup. Daniel signed a three-year, $21 million contract in the offseason to play behind Bradford and mentor Wentz.
“If I were Chase I’d be disappointed,” Pederson said. “But he’s the ultimate team player.”