PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Eagles coach Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz doesn’t have to play in the preseason to start Week 1 for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Wentz is recovering from a torn left ACL that forced him to watch from the sideline as backup Nick Foles led Philadelphia to its first NFL title since 1960.

“I don’t need him in preseason,” Pederson said Tuesday at the NFL meetings. “I need him in Week 1. … I’m very encouraged with where he’s at. I’m not rushing him. He’s working extremely hard. No timetable, make sure he’s 100 percent. But knowing Carson, he’s going to try to get out there sooner than later. Be smart with it, make good decisions.”

Pederson isn’t concerned about Foles going back to a backup role after a spectacular playoff run. Foles is entering the final season of a two-year contract and the Eagles listened to trade offers but couldn’t get their asking price.

“I know Nick and his mentality, and I think he’s fine with that,” Pederson said. “He understands it’s Carson’s team. He knew that last year.”

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