Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz might not play in the final three games of the 2018 NFL season, according to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport. At the very least, it sounds like he’ll miss this week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Carson Wentz, dealing with a back issue, is not expected to play this week, sources say. Depending on the result, given the time of year, Wentz may not play again in 2018. The team is still gathering info on his health.
During his Wednesday press conference, Doug Pederson told reporters Wentz is going to miss Wednesday’s practice due to back soreness. When asked if he’d be OK to play this week, Pederson did not guarantee Wentz’s availability for Sunday’s game.
Wentz first appeared on the Eagles injury report with a back injury in Week 7. He was limited during the Wednesday practice that week before returning as a full participant on Thursday. The same exact scenario happened in Week 8. Wentz did not appear on the injury report after the Eagles’ Week 9 bye.
One can only wonder if the effects from Wentz’s ACL/LCL injury are responsible for impacting his back.
Re: Carson Wentz back injury— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) December 12, 2018
If he's having stabilization issues with the leg, I could see how it would affect his back. He's torquing A LOT on those throws he's not stepping in to.
Also, an overcautious approach to injury is a good way to take the stress off his shoulders.
Wentz is posting strong strong numbers despite the Eagles’ lack of team success this season. The third-year quarterback is completing 69.6% of his attempts for 3,074 yards (7.7 average), 21 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a 102.2 passer rating.
The reality is the stats don’t tell the whole story. The eye test tells us that Wentz hasn’t quite been the same MVP-candidate player that he was in 2017. Perhaps Wentz’s struggles can be attributed to his back issues.
The Eagles are still mathematically alive in the NFC playoff picture but their odds aren’t favorable. FiveThirtyEight gives Philadelphia an 18% chance while Football Outsiders has them at 12.7%. With that in mind, it could be wise for the Eagles to play it safe with Wentz and focus on getting him healthy for 2019. Even if the Eagles do make the playoffs as a sixth seed, they’ll have to win three straight road games just to make it to the Super Bowl.
With Wentz potentially missing time, it’ll be reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles who takes over at quarterback for the Eagles. Foles started two games earlier this season with Wentz missing time due to his ACL/LCL recovery. The Eagles went 1-1 in those games and Foles completed 65.9% of his attempts for 451 yards (paltry 5.5 average), one touchdown, one interception, and a 78.9 passer rating. Not great.
Foles taking over as starter means Nate Sudfeld will be his backup. It’d be preferable to get Sudfeld some playing time if/once the Eagles are officially eliminated, so maybe he plays against Washington in Week 17. (Revenge game!)