The Latest on the Atlanta Falcons playing the Philadelphia Eagles in the opening game of the NFL season (all times local):
Carson Wentz was throwing passes on the field more than two hours before kickoff as he continues his recovery from surgery last December to repair two torn knee ligaments.
Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will start for the defending champion Eagles on Thursday night against Atlanta. Wentz wasn’t officially ruled out by coach Doug Pederson until Monday, though it was an obvious decision because he hasn’t been medically cleared.
Wentz did various drills and looked sharp as he wore a brace on his left knee. It’s uncertain when he’ll return to the starting lineup. Foles stepped in Week 14 and helped the team win its first NFL title since 1960.
The last time the Eagles took the field for a game that mattered, the temperature hovered around zero in Minneapolis. It was slightly hotter in Philly on Thursday.
Like pushing 100 degrees.
The season opener between the Eagles and Falcons is going to be a heated affair, thanks to Mother Nature. About 2 1/2 hours before kickoff, it was 96 degrees (35.6 degrees Celsius) at Lincoln Financial Field — hotter than earlier in the day. Compare that with the comfort of the Super Bowl, which of course was played indoors in Minneapolis, not in the Arctic conditions outside the Vikings’ home stadium.
That was the last time the Eagles had a meaningful game, beating New England for the championship.
Predictions of rain Thursday night — and probably a cooling off — certainly aren’t dampening the enthusiasm for the Eagles’ first home game as NFL champion since the 1961 season.
The NFL is opening its season by giving Philly fans one last celebration of their Super Bowl title before their team dives in to chase another.
The Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night in the first game of the regular season, eight months after the teams played a tight game in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Philadelphia will unveil its first Super Bowl banner in franchise history in front of a sellout crowd.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson says he expects both a great atmosphere and a great opponent.
The Falcons aren’t trying to make up for their loss to the Eagles in January. They have a new goal — finishing the season at home in Atlanta, where the Super Bowl will be played in February.
The Eagles will be playing without quarterback Carson Wentz, who had surgery last December to repair two torn knee ligaments. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will start instead.
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