In perhaps the least surprising injury update in NFL history, the Eagles on Saturday morning ruled Carson Wentz out for their game Sunday against the Rams.
Nick Foles, who led the Eagles on last year’s late-season surge that led to the Super Bowl championship, will make his first start since Week 3 in the nationally televised prime-time game at L.A. Coliseum.
Less than 24 hours before the Eagles ruled Wentz out, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Wentz would be listed as questionable for the Rams despite a fractured vertebrae in his back that he said would take three months to heal.
Pederson insisted that despite the injury and prognosis Wentz had a chance to play. The questionable designation generally means a player has about a 50 percent chance of playing.
How could Wentz possibly play against the Rams after suffering a broken bone that's going to take three months to heal and kept him out of practice all week?
Wentz was never going to play Sunday and everybody knew it.
The Eagles downgraded him from questionable to doubtful late Friday afternoon and then downgraded him again to “out” Saturday morning.
The period of time between Pederson saying Wentz was questionable — about 10:30 a.m. Friday — to the time the Eagles ruled him out — about 11:10 a.m. Saturday — was less than 25 hours.
It's conceivable that the Eagles got more information about Wentz's injury during that period, but Pederson spoke Friday as if the team had a pretty clear idea of exactly what was happening with Wentz's back after the latest battery of test results.
Why would the Eagles play games with the injury report? Maybe in the question for a competitive advantage, to keep the Rams guessing, although the Rams surely knew like everybody else that Wentz never had any chance of playing this weekend.
In any case, Foles will start in the same stadium where he replaced Wentz a year ago this week after Wentz tore his ACL. He rallied the Eagles to a win that clinched a playoff berth and eventually to postseason wins over the Falcons, Vikings and Patriots to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.
Foles went 1-1 to open the season, with a win over the Falcons and a loss to the Bucs. He completed 66 percent of his passes with one TD, one interception and a 78.9 passer rating.
Foles, the NFL record holder with a 113.2 postseason passer rating, is 21-11 in 32 starts in an Eagles uniform, and his .656 winning percentage is highest in Eagles history among quarterbacks who started at least 16 games.
The Eagles, 6-7 coming off a loss in Dallas, go into Sunday with just a 17 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, but if they beat the Rams that number goes up to 43 percent. If they beat the Rams and then the Texans that figure increases to 56 percent. If they win out, it goes up to 76 percent.
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