John Clark

Source: Earlier scans of Carson Wentz's back showed stress but no fracture

Source: Earlier scans of Carson Wentz's back showed stress but no fracture

The thought that the Eagles or their medical team have mishandled Carson Wentz’s injury is misguided.

Wentz is the franchise quarterback. They have closely monitored his health throughout the entire year alongside his agent and outside doctors.

Wentz desperately wanted to start the season, but the Eagles decided to hold him back and take the cautious approach as he recovered from knee surgery.

They are doing the same thing now. 

An NFL source told NBC Sports Philadelphia that the Eagles had been evaluating and monitoring Wentz’s back very closely over the last few months. They had done multiple MRIs and taken multiple images of his back, but a fracture first came up on imaging this week. In fact, Wentz was feeling some pain in another area that led to another test on his back.

Wentz's back was actually feeling a little better recently. Earlier scans did show there was some stress on the back, and it was agreed by all involved that he would keep playing, according to the source.

A fracture can eventually happen from the stress, but that is not guaranteed. Wentz has been consulting with an outside doctor through this whole process and the doctor has been aligned with the Eagles on the results of the imaging. 

Head coach Doug Pederson, in a somewhat contentious press conference on Friday, told the media that Wentz "has a stress injury that, this thing has evolved over time. And it requires zero surgery to heal."

Pederson is accurate when he says that this evolved over time. The stress can become a fracture from the constant torquing and motion a quarterback typically goes through. Wentz really wants to play, and has been checking with an outside doctor to see if there is any way he can play, according to the source, but the Eagles are being cautious with their franchise quarterback.

The team believes rest is the best thing for Wentz at this point. 

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With Elton Brand hire, Sixers take a page out of the Super Bowl champs' playbook

With Elton Brand hire, Sixers take a page out of the Super Bowl champs' playbook

Collaboration.

You have heard Eagles owner Jeff Lurie say that he wanted it to be a collaborative effort with Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson. That is what the Sixers’ ownership group is looking for as well.

The franchise wants this to be a collaboration and believes in group decisions.

The Sixers looked both inside and outside the organization and found out that Elton Brand is the best fit for them. I'm told that the Sixers were very impressed with Brand's vision for the future, his preparation, his familiarity with the team and the NBA. He is a good face for the Sixers' organization after Sam Hinkie and Bryan Colangelo.

When Brand goes to sell a free agent on coming to Philly, he has first-hand experience about that process. He knows what that player is looking for and what he is going through. He has the credibility to sell the city, the team and everything the Sixers can offer. He also is very well respected by NBA owners, players and agents and is very well connected.

He always did everything in his career with class. And when the Sixers needed someone to come in a few years ago as a player/mentor for the younger players, they chose him.

The Sixers like that setup and the people they already have in place. They did not want to disrupt that structure. Promoting Alex Rucker to executive vice president of basketball operations, leading their analytics and strategy department, shows you how much they value analytics. They believe that Brand is the best man to lead this team into the future and to marry the ideas of basketball and analytics people together.

“The Old School Chevy” has the keys to hopefully drive this team to a championship someday.

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Carson Wentz's surgeon on Eagles' decision: 'What's a few games over 12 to 15 years?'

Carson Wentz's surgeon on Eagles' decision: 'What's a few games over 12 to 15 years?'

Dr. James Bradley, the doctor who performed knee surgery on Carson Wentz eight months and three weeks ago, believes “common sense should take over the day” in deciding whether the Eagles' quarterback be cleared for contact and play in Thursday's season opener.

“It should be a cautious approach," Bradley said Friday in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "What’s a few games over 12 to 15 years?”

Bradley said Wentz's injury was “much more” than a torn ACL and the longer you wait, the lesser chance of a re-rupture. Bradley believes Wentz needs to be “tournament-tested tough,” having many repetitions of avoiding pass rushers so everything slows down again for him. He said the “ligaments, tendons and muscles need to learn to work again like a symphony.”

Head coach Doug Pederson said the team and its doctors would make an internal decision Friday on Wentz's status for the season opener. Wentz has participated in full-team drills over the past couple of weeks and has split first-team reps with Nick Foles.

Bradley said Wentz is “definitely ahead” of where he should be and has met every milestone. He said you couldn’t have asked for anything more from Wentz, calling the quarterback a humble warrior, great person and that Philly is lucky to have him.

In the beginning of the rehab process, Bradley said Wentz pushed the “pedal to the metal,” but then learned through working closely with Eagles trainer Joe O’Pella to hold back sometimes. He said the Eagles' organization has been fantastic throughout Wentz's entire recovery.

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