Carson Wentz's injury was worse than we thought

Carson Wentz's injury was worse than we thought

It turns out, Carson Wentz damaged more than just his ACL in December, but the Eagles' franchise quarterback still hopes to be ready for the 2018 season opener. 

His goal hasn't changed. 

"My goal is to be ready for Week 1," Wentz said. "I'm going to push and do everything I can to be ready. And I'm very confident in that."

Wentz on Friday afternoon, speaking to reporters for the first time since the injury on Dec. 10, revealed that he tore his left LCL in addition to his ACL. 

He didn't want to speculate about the possibility of being ready for training camp or OTAs. In general, he was hesitant to talk about a timetable in his recovery because of the fluidity of the situation but said the additional injury shouldn't really affect his recovery or progression. 

"I don't think so," Wentz said by his locker on Friday afternoon. "I think, again, I'm very confident in talking with trainers and everything that the rehab schedule doesn't change a whole lot. It's just something we have to be careful with. 

"I'm feeling confident with it and I said it in the video I posted right after the injury. I 100 percent believe I'll be back better than ever, stronger than ever, with no looking back." 

Wentz said he honestly didn't know whether the injury came before or after contact during that goal line play against the Rams back in early December, but knew immediately that something wasn't right. 

After the injury ended his season, Wentz admitted he had to fight off feelings of self-pity. He was able to do that thanks to support from his family, friends, teammates and fans. He has also relied heavily on his Christian faith over the last month and a half. 

But it's still not easy to go from MVP candidate to spectator. 

"Every time the offense comes on the field on Sunday, it's tough," Wentz said. "It hits me a little bit. But then I'm in it. I love these guys and I'm a part of this team as much as anybody else. I get involved in the game and that kind of all goes away. Without a doubt, as humans, it just feels ... it's tough. It's tough to not be out there, but I love watching these guys and I couldn't be happier." 

Since the injury, Wentz has tried to be around the team as much as possible. He still attends quarterback meetings and watches film with Nick Foles and backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld. He said he's just trying to support both of them the same way they did for him before the injury. 

Wentz said he's been most impressed with the way Foles has just stepped in following his injury after having not had many practice reps or practice time during the summer. The two quarterbacks — three, including Sudfeld — have grown extremely close this year and Wentz is very happy to see Foles find success. 

Since he's no longer the starter, Wentz is a little less vocal than before, but he still tries to offer his opinion when he thinks it'll help. He's finally been allowed back on the sideline for games in the playoffs. 

"It was great," Wentz said about being back on the field. "It was driving me crazy to not be on the sideline. Just to be around the guys. Just to be there, honestly. Being upstairs watching is just not the same."

Earlier this week, tight end Zach Ertz said the expectation for the organization is that this Super Bowl isn't going to be a one-time thing. The Eagles expect to be back in this game for years to come. Wentz agreed. 

"Without a doubt," he said. "I think we have the culture around here. And I've said it since I got here: We have something special here."

Wentz said he honestly hasn't thought about whether or not he'll wear a brace on his left knee when he eventually returns to game action, but he said definitively he won't change his playing style after the injury. When asked, he offered a flat, "no." 

Why not? 

"Because I am who I am," Wentz said. "Injuries happen. Injuries aren't going to change me."

Eagle Eye podcast: Building now vs. the future around Carson Wentz

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Eagle Eye podcast: Building now vs. the future around Carson Wentz

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro dive into plenty of topics, starting with Howie Roseman’s short-term vs. long-term plan to build around Carson Wentz. 

Breaking down the Eagles’ salary cap space. Why trading for Brandin Cooks wouldn’t make sense. The game that showed the Eagles Jalen Mills could play safety. 

Roob hates the new playoff format and plenty more: 

• Building now vs. future around Carson Wentz 
• Breaking down Eagles’ salary cap space 
• Some cap tricks Howie Roseman uses 
• Should Eagles trade for Brandin Cooks? 
• More on Jalen Mills’ position switch 
• And his switch from No. 31 to 21 
• Ronald Darby is heading to Washington 
• Dave’s latest Eagles-only mock changes it up
• Roob hates the new NFL playoff format 
• What the guys are doing to stay sane 

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NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

The NFL has officially expanded its playoff format to 14 teams in time for the 2020 season. 

Starting with this upcoming season, the playoff field will expand from 12 to 14 teams, allowing one more wild-card team from each conference. 

Here are a few of the major points of this new format: 

• The AFC and NFC will each have seven playoff teams, but just the top seed from each conference will have a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

• In wild-card weekend, the other 12 teams will play — the No. 2 seeds will host 7s, the No. 3 seeds will host 6s and the No. 4 seeds will host 5s. 

• For this upcoming season, wild-card weekend will have three games on Saturday, Jan. 9 and three games on Sunday, Jan. 10. 

• One of the additional wild-card games will be on CBS on Jan. 10 at 4:40 p.m. The other will be on NBC on Jan. 10 at 8:15 p.m.

This is the NFL’s first expansion of the playoff format since the 1990 season, when the field went from 10 to 12. 

The Eagles made the playoffs as a division winner with a 9-7 record in 2019 and that would still be an option with this new format. This change simply adds another playoff team in each conference. In the 2019 NFC that would have been the 9-7 Rams. 

If you’re looking for a recent example in Eagles history of how this new format would’ve helped, look back at the 2014 season. The Eagles finished with a 10-6 record in Chip Kelly’s second season but missed the postseason. If this format was around, they would have been the third wild-card team after the 11-win Lions and Cardinals. 

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