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."

2019 NFL playoff picture: The entire NFC East really, really, really sucks

2019 NFL playoff picture: The entire NFC East really, really, really sucks

The Eagles have won one game since the first week of November, and they’ve lost exactly half a game to the first-place Cowboys in the NFC East standings.

The Cowboys lost their third straight game Thursday night, falling to the Bears, 31-24, in Chicago.

This definitely helps the Eagles although not quite as much as you might think.

Here's why:

The Cowboys fell to 6-7 after a 3-0 start. The Eagles are 5-7 with a game Monday night against the 2-10 Giants at the Linc.

But even with Dallas losing Thursday night, the Eagles still have to beat the Cowboys head-to-head and win their three other games to guarantee that they win the NFC East.

That’s because the Cowboys can still lose to the Eagles and finish 8-8 overall and 5-1 in the NFC East if they beat the Rams next Sunday and the Redskins on the final day of the season.

But even with a win over the Cowboys, a loss in any of their other games — to the Giants home and away or the Redskins — would leave the Eagles 8-8 overall and 4-2 in the division.

The Eagles easily win the common opponents tiebreaker with the Cowboys, but that doesn't come into play unless the teams are tied overall, head-to-head and in division record.

But the Cowboys' latest loss does help the Eagles in that if the Cowboys lose to either the Rams a week from Sunday or the Redskins on Dec. 29, the Eagles could afford to lose one of their remaining games and still win the division at 8-8 if they beat the Cowboys head-to-head, since in that scenario the Cowboys would finish 7-9.

The website fivethirtyeight.com, which provides percentages for teams to reach the playoffs based on changeable variables, had the Eagles with a 34 percent chance of winning the NFC East before the Cowboys-Bears game. That would have gone down to 26 percent if the Cowboys won. Instead it increased to 41 percent. 

If the Eagles beat the Giants Monday night, their chances increase to 47 percent. 

It's been so long since either of these teams won a game it seems silly to even talk about the playoff picture. 

But somebody has to win the NFC East. 

We think?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Which coaches are on the hot seat?

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Eagle Eye podcast: Which coaches are on the hot seat?

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to Doug Pederson’s comments about coaching staff accountability and go through his roster of coaches. 

Kamu Grugier-Hill has a concussion. Mack Hollins is gone. Jordan Howard still isn’t cleared for contact and the team hasn’t been the same without him.

And the Eagles do have a game this week! 

• Marken Michel is back and Dave is happy 
• Kamu Grugier-Hill has a concussion 
• Doug says he’ll hold coaches accountable 
• Which coaches might not be back?
• Mack Hollins gets cut 
• A lot of big contributors have gotten cut
• Eagles really miss Jordan Howard 
• Miles Sanders and Saquon Barkley 
• At least one more game vs. Eli 

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