NFL

Carson Wentz 'optimistic' about being ready for Colts opener

By Sports Desk August 23, 2021

Carson Wentz is optimistic he will be ready in time to make his Indianapolis Colts debut in their season opener with the Seattle Seahawks having returned to practice following foot surgery.

Wentz was given a recovery timeline of five to 12 weeks this month after it was confirmed he would undergo surgery on a broken metatarsal.

But the former Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller was back on the practice field on Monday, raising hopes he could be under center when the Colts face the Seahawks on September 12.

"I'm optimistic, but we'll see how it responds," Wentz said. 

"It's going to be up to the doctors, for sure. At the end of the day, as long as there's nothing that I can do to injure myself and make it worse, I know I've played through a lot worse. But it's going to come down to what the doctors say."

The Colts face a race against time to get Wentz up to speed following his time on the sideline, though his familiarity with head coach Frank Reich should help him catch up.

Reich was the offensive coordinator in 2017 when Wentz was a frontrunner for the MVP award before a knee injury curtailed his campaign and backup Nick Foles improbably led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title.

The Colts traded a conditional second-round pick, which will become a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75 per cent of the snaps or he plays 70 per cent and Indianapolis reach the postseason, to the Eagles to acquire the 2016 second overall selection.

Last season, Wentz suffered the most sacks in the NFL (50) and was tied-first for interceptions with 15.

Per Stats Perform data, Wentz had the worst well-thrown percentage in the NFL in 2020.

He delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on just 68.8 per cent of his passes and threw an interceptable pass on 6.78 per cent of his attempts, with only three quarterbacks doing so more often.

Should he be unable to feature in the season opener, Jacob Eason or rookie Sam Ehlinger will start for the Colts, with that duo having split first-team reps in his absence.

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    Kostic looks set to have played his last match for Frankfurt, with the versatile winger having been left out of the Bundesliga side's squad to face Real Madrid in the Super Cup on Wednesday.

    Since he signed for Frankfurt from Hamburg in 2018, Kostic has played more games (167) and started more matches (161) than any other player for the club in all competitions.

    His 30 goals trails only Andre Silva (45) and Luka Jovic (31), while he is way clear in terms of assists (56) and chances created (420), with 269 of them coming from open play.

    Indeed, Kostic's tally of 1,702 passes played into the opposition's box, including crosses, is almost 1,300 more than second-best Daichi Kamada.

    Glasner knows Kostic, who has excelled as a wing-back, will be a huge miss as he explained why he feels the move is bittersweet.

    "Today it's as if I'm laughing and crying," Glasner told a news conference at Helsinki's Olympic Stadium. "Filip left his mark on our attack, it's never nice to lose such a player.

    "It definitely weakens us, but I also have this laugh, thinking about how the season started last year with Filip when he went on strike and didn't want to play.

    "I had a lot of conversations with him about playing 100 per cent for the team. I asked him that when he left Frankfurt, to please leave as a hero, and now he's leaving as a hero, he was the player of the year and he won the Europa League. I'm really happy for him, but yes it's sad [that he is leaving]."

    Glasner acknowledged he was surprised at how swiftly Kostic's move, which has been speculated on for weeks, transpired between Frankfurt's 6-1 defeat to Bayern Munich on Saturday and Wednesday's encounter with Champions League winners Madrid.

    As such, he suggested Frankfurt's system will not change for upcoming games, but that it may be open to tweaks over the coming weeks.

    "[On Monday] it became more and more clear that Filip could leave. You won't see a big system change [against Madrid] but it is possible we change things in the next weeks or months, that is the job of the coach, to find the best system," he added.

    "I didn't maybe expect it to be so quick. I had a feeling, even after the Bayern match, that he would play. Well, this dream was broken.

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    Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp echoed Glasner's sentiment, but was confident his team-mates have not been shaken by Kostic's departure.

    Trapp said: "The topic of Filip, we've had it every year at the beginning of the season. It's sad, Filip did something historic for the club, did a lot with the club, he's leaving as a hero who was a big part of this achievement.

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  • Serena to retire: The remarkable stats, facts and figures that highlight Williams' legacy Serena to retire: The remarkable stats, facts and figures that highlight Williams' legacy

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    Thanks to her success and brilliance on the court, Williams has become synonymous with tennis and is regarded by many as the greatest the women's sport has ever seen.

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    Of course, the headline fact for Williams' career is her grand slam titles count.

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    Even if Williams only reaches the championship match next month, she'll still be equalling a different record.

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    She's spent 319 weeks ranked as world number one, which is behind only Steffi Graf (377) and Navratilova (332).

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    Such has been Williams' quality, she was always considered a threat regardless of the surface – she's won each grand slam at least three times.

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    Those 48 come from a grand total of 73 across all surfaces, leaving her ranked fifth behind Navratilova (167), Evert (157), Graf (107) and Court (92).

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    Williams' comfort on hard courts goes even further than that.

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    Wimbledon is the tournament that would appear to be her favourite.

    She's reached the final at SW19 11 times. Only Navratilova can better that record for the most finals at one tournament – though it's worth saying she contested the WTA Finals and Chicago 14 times each, Eastbourne 13 times and 12 at Wimbledon.

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    Sale was already on the injured list and hoped to pitch later in the season after sustaining a broken left pinkie on July 17 against the New York Yankees when he was hit by a line drive in the first inning.

    That outing was just Sale's second start of the season after recovering from a fractured rib sustained while working out during the Major League Baseball lockout.

    Sale signed a five-year, $145million contract extension with Boston in 2019, but he has pitched a combined 48 1/3 innings since the end of that campaign.

    The seven-time All-Star missed the pandemic-shortened 2020 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery before making his 2021 debut on August 14, going 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA in nine starts.

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