What’s going on with Carson Wentz?
Wentz might not play again the rest of the 2018 season. It’s been just over a year since Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz suffered an ACL tear that ended his 2017 season. Now he has a different, unrelated injury he’s battling through. The rest of the season is in doubt for Wentz after he suffered a stress fracture in his back. Wentz has been playing through back soreness since October, but the fracture was only discovered on the week of December 9th. What’s the latest on Wentz’s back injury? Wentz was on the Weeks 7 and 8 injury reports with a back issue, but the diagnosis of the stress fracture came on December 11th, according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson — after Wentz had already gone through a previous scan that was inconclusive. “Here’s what I can confirm,” Pederson said that Friday before the Rams game. “That he has a stress injury, that this thing has evolved over time, and it requires zero surgery to heal.” Wentz did not play in the Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Although Pederson would not rule out Wentz on Friday of that week, the Eagles changed the injury report on Saturday to list him as “out.” Pederson said the quarterback will not go on injured reserve. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Wentz’s injury should heal with rest: A recent CT scan on Carson Wentz’s back revealed a fractured vertebrae that, if allowed time to rest, would fully heal without further expected issues, sources tell ESPN. There will be a continued evaluation to determine if continuing to play this year will make injury worse.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 13, 2018 Pederson said that the injury could take up to three months to heal. “And the fact that he doesn’t need surgery on this is the best news you could possibly have,” Pederson said. This is not the first time Wentz has deal with back pain. He had a similar injury in college, which NBC’s Michele TaFoya relayed on Sunday Night Football: “He confirmed that his stress fracture is related to previous lower back problems, though he wouldn’t address a report that he had seen a back specialist here in Los Angeles. I asked him about the three-month timetable placed on his recovery by Doug Pederson, and Wentz would not commit to that other than to say he would not need surgery. Most interestingly, when I asked him what the plan was going forward he said, ‘I don’t know.’” Wentz is now “week to week.” Will Wentz play again in 2018? The most likely option for Wentz is that he sits out the rest of the season. Nick Foles has started every game, including a 16-15 Wild Card win over the Chicago Bears, since Wentz was injured. “Where Carson is health-wise and just another week of rest for Carson will help him, we made the decision to go forward with Nick,” Pederson said after their 30-23 win over the Rams. The Eagles are headed to take on the number one seed New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round, and Wentz has not been shut down yet. That means there’s still a chance he returns — though it’s incredibly unlikely with the Eagles being 4-0 under Foles. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier that the chances of Wentz playing again this year largely rested on the outcome of their Week 15 game: But the real question now, as far as I understand it, is: “Is Carson Wentz going to play again for the rest of the season?” Some of that might actually depend on the result from this weekend’s game. If the Eagles lose, there really is no point of bringing Wentz back from his back injury, which, by the way, actually he’s been dealing with since October. He’s been on the injury report, off the injury report. This has been something that’s kind of been reoccurring this season. If the Eagles do win, then maybe they hold out hold and say ‘Could [we] potentially bring Wentz back on some level?’ At the same time, the Eagles’ medical staff is currently facing questions about how they handled Wentz’s back, as well as other players’ injuries. What’s next for the Eagles? Philadelphia entered the season as the sixth seed in the NFC and have already won a game against the Bears with Nick Foles at quarterback. If they can pull off a massive upset and beat the Saints, they’ll be back in the NFC Championship game against either the Dallas Cowboys or the Los Angeles Rams. Once again, Philadelphia turned to Foles to keep its postseason hopes alive. Although Foles didn’t play well filling in for Wentz at the end of the regular season last year or the start of the season this year, he rebounded against the Rams and did just enough to get a win in the Wild Card round. He hasn’t looked quite as good as he did last postseason, when he led the Eagles to their first championship and earned the Super Bowl MVP award, but Foles is still helping Philadelphia play winning football while Wentz is out. The Eagles will need these kind of performances to continue while Wentz remains out.