Could abstaining from pizza be the key to a healthy season for Carson Wentz?
Maybe one of them!
Wentz, who revealed back in the spring that he embraced some pretty significant lifestyle changes this offseason to improve his chances of staying healthy, said Tuesday he hasn’t had pizza in “six or seven months” as he prepares for the 2019 season.
Wentz said in May he made major changes regarding sleep, diet, nutrition, stretching and weight training after suffering a season-ending injury for a second straight year.
The fourth-year quarterback clearly looks leaner this summer. Whether that translates to him playing 16 games — and presumably more — remains to be seen.
Wentz was asked Tuesday if there’s any food he gave up that he especially misses.
“Why would you do this to me?” he said with a laugh.
Then he shared the unthinkable.
I mean, pizza’s one of the biggest,” he said. “Trying to avoid pizza. You know … that’s the thing you do when you hang out with the guys, you order pizza. So trying to find pizza substitutes has not quite been as successful as I would have hoped.
Wentz missed the last three games of 2017 and the Super Bowl run and then the first two games last year after tearing his ACL against the Rams in L.A. He missed the last three games of last year and the playoffs with a fracture in his back.
He’s been vague about specifically what he’s changed since the winter, but now we know one detail.
“Not real pizza,” he said. “It’s been about six, seven months now. Trying to find different substitutes and everything.”
Three weeks into training camp and with 3½ weeks until the regular-season opener, Wentz said he feels great. How much of that does he trace back to the changes he made?
Maybe a little bit,” he said. “Obviously, the training that I’ve done, the nutrition that I’ve done, really focused on different things, I feel stronger and I feel more explosive. But at the same time, it’s been a while since I felt this way due to the knee and everything, but I do feel good where I’m at.
Wentz has already suffered more season-ending injuries before his 26th birthday than Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees have suffered combined in 93 seasons.
Obviously “Can Carson stay healthy?” is a narrative that won’t go away until he does.
Listen, I get it,” he said. “You play a couple seasons and have a couple injuries, I get what’s happening. Unfortunately, I’ve ended the last two years on the bench. There’s only so much I can do to talk about it, now I just have to be about it. I’m going to set myself up the best that I can to stay healthy, to play the whole season and get out there every week, but again, it’s football and things happen, so everyone has their own opinions and at the end of the day I’m not really worried about it. … I’ve really had to come to grips with really not caring what other peoples’ opinions are on the matter.
It seems likely Doug Pederson won’t play Wentz at all this preseason, although he keeps saying he hasn’t decided.
The Eagles face the Jaguars in the second preseason game on Thursday in Jacksonville. They’ll hold joint practices next Monday and Tuesday with the Ravens, then face the Ravens at the Linc a week from Thursday. The preseason ends with the Jets at the Meadowlands on Aug. 29.
I feel good either way,” Wentz said. “I’ll be ready come Week 1 whether I get reps multiple times in the preseason or none at all. Whatever Coach decides. I’m extremely confident in this offense and myself and I like where we’re at.
Only four quarterbacks have started every game for the Eagles since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978: Ron Jaworski five times, Donovan McNabb four times, Randall Cunningham three times and Wentz as a rookie in 2016.
If Wentz makes it through the regular season unscathed, you’ll know why: Lots of stretching, plenty of sleep and not a single call to Domino’s.
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