The biggest silver lining from Carson Wentz's long rehab

The biggest silver lining from Carson Wentz's long rehab

Obviously, no one wanted Carson Wentz to get hurt last season. No one wanted the franchise quarterback to go through 9½ months of grueling rehab. And, of course, it would have been much better if he stayed healthy and got to play in the playoffs and in the first two games of the 2018 season. 

But there’s a bright side to all of this. 

Going through this rehab is going to make Wentz an even better player. And I’m not talking about physically. 

Sure, during the past nine-plus months, Wentz’s upper body has gotten stronger, but I think the area in which he’s going to improve even more is his ability to use what he’s learned on the sideline and in the film room and apply it on the football field. 

Here’s what head coach Doug Pederson said about that possibility: 

I think it can only help him. It can sort of enhance his game a little bit.

I think sometimes sort of big picture you get a chance to see everything and take everything in from that view. It's a different view and it's a positive view.

So, that's why moving forward, I'm excited to see where he is at in that progression of his game.

Think about it. Wentz hasn’t been able to play in a football game since Dec. 10, so when he wasn’t working on his physical rehabilitation, he was either watching film or trying to help Nick Foles get ready to play. That’s a lot of hours logged in the film room or just thinking about football without being able to play. 

Maybe for some players, that wouldn’t account to much, but it’s not like Wentz is watching film and then forgetting everything he sees. His coaches — Pederson included — have marveled at his recall. Pederson back in 2016 even said he thought Wentz had a photographic memory. 

"We can obviously see it on the pictures, on the tablets on the sideline, and then when he goes back out there, he can remember that defense,” Pederson said in the fall of 2016. ”If he sees that front or that coverage, that look again, he knows exactly what's coming defensively, and he can put us in the right play."

Wentz is just 25 years old, but he was already way ahead of schedule as a cerebral quarterback last year. It’s scary to think about what this extended time in the film room could do for his game. His ability to see things pre-snap shouldn’t be overlooked. Remember in his rookie season when he was being compared to every great quarterback to ever play the game. This is the part of his ability that was the most Peyton Manning-like. 

Even Wentz thinks getting to view the game from a different perspective will help: 

Without a doubt. You see things. I know last year when I did get hurt and threw the headset on, you almost see things as a coach. You see things from a different perspective. 

But then also, to not take it for granted. I think when you get caught up in the middle of a season, you’re just going through it, you can take the opportunities for granted. I’ll always remind everybody, myself included, to never take a play for granted or take a game for granted because you never know when it’s going to be your last.

This is the most significant injury of Wentz’s football career, but it wasn’t his first. In college and even in high school, he learned how to rehab and get better even when he wasn’t able to play.

We might see some rust from Wentz on Sunday. We might see a guy who looks like he hasn’t played football in over nine months. What I do know is we won’t have to worry about the mental side of the game. In fact, he’s probably even farther along than the last time we saw him.

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Reports: Scan reveals Carson Wentz has fracture in his back

Reports: Scan reveals Carson Wentz has fracture in his back

It’s turns out the soreness in Carson Wentz’s back is a little more than just soreness. 

According to ESPN and NFL Network, a recent CT scan has revealed a fracture in the franchise quarterback’s back. 

The good news is that based on these reports, surgery won’t be needed and time will heal Wentz’s fractured back. 

The bad news is that Wentz has been dealing with back soreness since October and a fracture was just now discovered. This medical staff is in its first year with the Eagles and there might be some reason to be concerned about it. There have been other eye-brow raising incidents before this one with Wentz. 

Even though he wasn't practicing, Wentz was at practice on Thursday afternoon as a spectator. He chatted with QBs coach Press Taylor and OC Mike Groh during stretching and then jogged down the field to be with Foles and Nate Sudfeld as they went through drills. Foles has gotten first-team reps for the last two days. 

While it is increasingly likely Nick Foles will start on Sunday in Los Angleles, both reports from ESPN and NFL Network don’t completely rule out a possible return for Wentz this season. But there are just two games remaining after Sunday and the Eagles' playoff chances are dwindling. It might be wise to simply shut down the franchise quarterback. 

On Wednesday, Zach Ertz made it clear that Wentz wanted to address reporters about his injury, so hopefully that happens sooner rather than later. 

Wentz first appeared on the Eagles’ injury report with a back injury in mid-October. He was limited for consecutive Wednesdays before the Panthers and the Jaguars games. But he has played every snap since returning from his torn ACL and LCL in Week 2. 

During his Wednesday morning press conference, Pederson said Wentz was dealing with “a little bit of back soreness, a little tightness,” which now seems like an obvious understatement. 

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Report: Carson Wentz undergoing tests as Eagles try to pinpoint injury

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Report: Carson Wentz undergoing tests as Eagles try to pinpoint injury

Carson Wentz spent Thursday morning getting tests on his back as the Eagles try to figure out exactly what’s causing the soreness and tightness that have jeopardized the rest of his 2018 season.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Wentz underwent a “scan” — presumably a CT scan — and was scheduled to undergo an MRI as well Thursday to try and determine why Wentz has experienced lingering back pain.

According to Schefter, the scan was inconclusive.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Wednesday that Wentz would miss practice, and when asked he said he didn’t know whether Wentz would be able to play Sunday against the Rams in Los Angeles, the site of his knee injury a year ago this week.

NFL Network reported Wednesday that not only was Wentz unlikely to play against the Rams, there was a chance he wouldn’t be able to return this year.

The Eagles haven’t ruled Wentz out of anything yet, but Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles took all the reps at practice Wednesday and was expected to take the reps Thursday afternoon at practice.

Wentz has been bothered by back spasms for at least two months.

He first appeared on the Eagles’ practice report as limited with back soreness on Oct. 17, the Wednesday leading up to the Carolina game. He remained on the injury report the rest of that week and the following week prior to the Eagles’ game against the Jaguars in London but never missed an entire practice or a snap in any of the games.

When the Eagles returned after their bye week, Wentz no longer was on the injury report, and there was no word about the issue until Wednesday when Pederson identified the issue as “a little bit of back soreness, a little tightness.”

Within hours, that little bit of soreness and tightness had escalated into an injury that is jeopardizing the end of his third NFL season.

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