Why Carson Wentz says he's ‘not an idiot' about NFL's COVID-19 season


Carson Wentz held a press conference on Thursday afternoon to discuss the upcoming Eagles season, the revamped offense, new teammates and his growing role as a leader. 

Doesn't that all just sound so normal? 

The problem is that Wentz's press conference on Thursday was anything but normal. Nothing is normal anymore, despite how we yearn for it. 

This press conference was held via Zoom and sprinkled in with those questions about a football season that may or may not happen, at least not on schedule, were other questions about a global pandemic and just how the heck the NFL is going to play through it.

I like to look at it as the glass half full," Wentz said on Thursday afternoon. "I'm optimistic that we can execute all the protocols, guys can stay safe, guys can stay healthy. 

"But I'm also not an idiot. You just don't fully know how everything is going to unfold. So until something changes, I'm going to be here, I'm going to be working, I'm going to be ready to go just like all my teammates.

In the last few days, Eagles right guard Lane Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus and was put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list along with Nathan Gerry and Jordan Mailata. That news came after we learned that wide receiver Marquise Goodwin decided to opt out of the 2020 season. 

And the Eagles haven't even been hit as hard as some other teams. 

On Thursday, Wentz was asked if he gave any thought to opting out himself. 

Wentz is in a very different spot in his life than he was just a few years ago. He came into the league as a single 23-year-old. Now, he's 27, married and has a 3-month-old daughter at home to worry about. 

"I feel safe here," Wentz said. "You never know how this is going to fully unfold but I feel safe here. It was something that my wife and I talked about, prayed a lot about and we feel good with our decision. 

"But at the same time, completely respect the guys that did decide to opt out for personal reasons, family reasons, health reasons, like Marquise Goodwin. I talked to him the other day. Fully respect this decision. Obviously, I'm bummed that I'm not going to be able to play with him. But fully respect those guys' decisions that do (opt out) for a number of reasons."

Unlike the NBA, the NFL is attempting to have a season without a bubble scenario, which creates natural complications. The Eagles will be in a somewhat controlled environment inside the NovaCare Complex, where the Eagles have made significant alterations to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

But guys go home. 

And once guys go home, the entire team — and the league, really — is on a trust-based system. NFL players will be relying on their teammates and their opponents to minimize risks, to not go to busy bars and nightclubs, to not put themselves in other high-risk situations. 

Even then, there's still no way to truly prevent the spread of the virus that's foolproof. 

"We're going to do everything we can as a team, especially as leaders, to make sure guys are handling their business, not just in the building but outside the building," Wentz said. "Who they're around, what they're going to do. It is going to look different and it is going to be a challenge, but I think we in Philly are up for it. Hopefully everyone around the league is up for it as well."

Spoken like a true optimist, who also happens to be no idiot.

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