Eagles

An angry Carson Wentz questions NFL concussion procedures

An angry Carson Wentz questions NFL concussion procedures

It’s rare that we see this side of Carson Wentz.

The pissed-off side.

Wentz was definitely angry at the way his concussion test was handled late in the second quarter of the Eagles-Falcons game Sunday night in Atlanta.

On a 3rd-and-10 with 1:51 left before halftime, Wentz threw incomplete to Mack Hollins, setting up an Eagles punt.

Wentz went over to the sideline and stayed there uneventfully while the Falcons went 3-and-out.

But at some point late during that Atlanta drive, the NFL’s neurosurgeon assigned to watch players’ behavior for possible concussions and then having them tested, instructed Wentz to enter the medical tent.

This coincided closely with the Falcons’ punt.

So when the Eagles returned to the field with 43 seconds left, Josh McCown was at quarterback.

If the concussion specialist saw concerning behavior from Wentz, why not have him tested immediately?

Good question.

Honestly, that was super frustrating,” Wentz said. “I was sitting on the sideline for about five minutes and then they called down to look at that. To me that is something that they need to figure out. It’s incredibly frustrating when I feel fine, but I understand that they need to look at that and that it is part of the game. But the fact that it took so long is really frustrating.

McCown played six snaps and actually converted a couple first downs as he drove the offense from the Falcons’ 41-yard-line down to the 13.

Wentz finally returned and a second later Jake Elliott hit a field goal to bring the Eagles within four points at 10-6,.

Head coach Doug Pederson said the Eagles will have conversations with league officials to try to figure out why things went the way they did.

“We'll have communication obviously about it, but that stuff is out of our control,” he said. “If they see it, they are going to pull the player and it's out of our control. It's out of my hands. I can't do anything about it. It's a medical issue. It's a player-safety issue. I'm sure we'll have discussions on it but quite frankly, it's out of our hands.”

Wentz seemed upset that in his eyes he wasn’t showing any concussion symptoms, but he and Pederson were most upset about the delay.

Why not call Wentz into the tent immediately when he got back to the field? He certainly doesn’t think he began displaying symptoms five minutes after leaving the field.

“That's the part we have to have communication and dialogue with and make sure they are seeing the same things we're seeing,” Pederson said. “But again, it's out of our hands when the spotter sees something.”

The NFL's concussion testing protocol has come a long way, and that's a positive.

But when it starts affecting when a perfectly healthy star player can go back on the field, there's a problem. A big problem. And the NFL needs to figure that part of this out in a hurry.



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Carson Wentz on Alshon Jeffery: 'I love that guy'

Carson Wentz on Alshon Jeffery: 'I love that guy'

There’s been a sense for a while now that the relationship between Alshon Jeffery and Carson Wentz is a bit strained.

It didn’t help when anonymous quotes popped up on ESPN from an unnamed player criticizing Wentz, and WIP’s Howard Eskin, who is also the Eagles’ radio sideline reporter, quickly reported that Jeffery was the source of those quotes, something Jeffery denied.

On Tuesday, we learned Jeffery is out for the year, and on Thursday, Wentz talked about how big a loss that is but also spoke — in glowing terms — about his relationship with Jeffery.

“I have a great relationship with Alshon,” Wentz said. “He’s been an awesome teammate ever since he got here. When he first signed here, we went to dinner, we got to know each other, we both had high expectations for each other. It’s been awesome getting to know him as a guy and as a teammate and seeing the plays he’s been able to make over the years and this year as well. I love that guy and obviously the injury is very unfortunate.”

Jeffery has been Wentz’s No. 1 wide receiver in their three years together, with 143 catches for 1,754 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Eagles are 21-12 in 33 games with both Jeffery and Wentz in uniform.

But both have dealt with injuries since 2017. Wentz missed eight regular-season games and both playoff runs in 2017 and 2018, and Jeffery, whose season is now over, will have missed nine games the last two years.

Jeffery, who missed a game with a calf injury earlier this year and two more with an ankle injury, suffered a season-ending foot injury in the Giants game Monday night.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jon Clark reported Thursday Jeffery has a Lysfranc injury and is considering surgery.

Jeffery, a Pro Bowler with the Bears in 2013, had just 43 catches for 490 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this year.

He did have 137 yards against the Dolphins two weeks ago, his second-biggest game as an Eagle.

Jeffery had 45 catches for 732 yards and five TDs in 13 games with Nick Foles, including 12-for-219 and three TDs in the 2017 Super Bowl run.

“Alshon, shoot, I love that guy and his injury was unfortunate,” Wentz said. “It’s part of the game and it’s a part of the game we all hate, but he came in ready to work every day, and he had injuries here and there throughout the year and that definitely lingered and hampered him, but when he was healthy he was making plays and he was helping us out in a big way and that’s a tough loss for us.” 

Jeffery is under contract for 2020 at $12.75 million, a figure the Eagles guaranteed earlier this year. They would absorb a $26 million cap hit if they release him, and thanks to the injury he’s now untradeable, so it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Jeffery isn’t here next year, although the early part of his season could be in jeopardy.

Wentz obviously isn’t going anywhere so it makes sense for Wentz to speak highly of Jeffery because the two are most likely going to be together for at least another year.

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Eagles still without Lane Johnson, Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor at practice

Eagles still without Lane Johnson, Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor at practice

As the Eagles held their first real practice in their short week before Sunday’s game in Washington, they were without several key starters.

Lane Johnson (ankle), Derek Barnett (ankle) and Nelson Agholor (knee) were all absent Thursday. 

All three are in serious danger of missing the upcoming game. 

Meanwhile, Jalen Mills (elbow) and Jordan Howard (shoulder) were back on the field after being listed as limited in Wednesday’s estimation. Howard still hasn’t been cleared for contact and can’t play until he is. 

• Johnson suffered a high ankle sprain in the win over the Giants and is fully expected to miss this upcoming game. Fourth-year offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai took first-team reps at right tackle next to Brandon Brooks on Thursday. Despite an offer to move sides earlier in the season from Jason Peters, the Eagles are sticking with Big V at right tackle. This way, they don’t weaken two spots. 

• Agholor revealed on Wednesday that he actually hurt his knee in Week 6 against Minnesota and what happened late in the fourth quarter against New England just aggravated the existing injury. He is in danger of missing his second straight game and his third in four weeks with a knee injury he hopes won’t eventually need surgery. 

While the Eagles had six receivers at practice on Thursday, three of them were on the practice squad. Robert Davis was bumped up from the practice squad Thursday morning and will need to play on Sunday in Washington against his former team. 

The Eagles went into last week’s game with just three active receivers and it was a disaster. Alshon Jeffery and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside both got hurt and the Eagles finished the game with Greg Ward as their only healthy receiver, although Josh Perkins was able to take snaps there. 

• Barnett injured his ankle in the Miami game and still somehow managed to finish the game and play 50 snaps. Think about that; he was able to finish a game with an injury that will probably force him out for at least two full games. That’s impressive. 

Without Barnett last week, Vinny Curry started and played well. Josh Sweat rotated in and also made some plays. 

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