Eagles

Why Carson Wentz hasn't had pizza in half a year

Why Carson Wentz hasn't had pizza in half a year

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.

No pizza.

“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.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagle Eye podcast: A huge extension for Brandon Brooks

us_ee_brooks.png
USA Today Images

Eagle Eye podcast: A huge extension for Brandon Brooks

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast presented by Nissan, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to Brandon Brooks’ four-year extension worth over $56 million. 

Brooks will go down as one of the best free agent pickups in Eagles history. Jordan Matthews is back yet again. The receivers could definitely use some help. The secondary looks a little more solid. 

The Eagles find themselves in a good position after the bye.

• Brandon Brooks gets an extension
• Jordan Matthews x3 
• Yes, we’re talking about WRs again 
• The division is there for the taking 
• A look at the secondary down the stretch
• Everyone have a good bye week? 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles sign Brandon Brooks to 4-year contract extension

Eagles sign Brandon Brooks to 4-year contract extension

The Eagles on Monday locked up all-pro guard Brandon Brooks with a contract extension that runs through 2024 and makes him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

The 30-year-old Brooks, who has made a remarkable recovery from Achilles surgery, was already signed through 2020. The new deal runs from 2021 through 2024.

According to AthletesFirst, the agency that represents Brooks, the deal is worth $56.2 million over four years.

That $14.05 million annual average makes Brooks the highest-paid guard in the NFL, just ahead of Zach Martin of the Cowboys, whose six-year, $84 million deal signed last year is worth $14 million per year.

Brooks had been signed through 2020 with base salaries of $8 million this year and $7.5 million next year on his original five-year, $40 million deal with the Eagles.

Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said Brooks is having the best year of his career.

I see a locked in guy,” Stoutland said. “I see a guy that’s just zoned in on what he’s doing from each play. I’m very, very happy with his production, with his level of execution and all the technique that we’re teaching him, he applies it all. He’s a smart man.

Brooks suffered a torn Achilles on Jan. 13 during the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Saints at the Superdome.

But he returned to practice the week before the opener and hasn’t missed a step. After playing 54 of a possible 74 snaps in the opener against the Redskins — he rested late in the game once the Eagles had a double-digit lead — he’s played all 564 snaps in the last eight games at right guard.

What’s stood out about Brooks’ miracle recovery?

The way he just embraced that whole situation and fought through all the adversity and came back with such a positive attitude,” Stoutland said Monday. “I never once saw him down in the tank, worrying about him or ‘why me?’ or any of that. … The approach he had was always positive and, ‘My mission is to get back for that first game,’ and he was able to do that. He’s having the best season of his life right now. It’s a credit to him, it’s well-deserved. He’s a tremendous member of our team. Unbelievable attitude. I love the way he prepares and most especially the way he performs on Sunday.

Brooks, Malcolm Jenkins and Jason Kelce are the only players to start all 46 games the Eagles have played since opening day of 2017.

Brooks initially joined the Eagles in 2016 as a free agent from the Texans, and quickly emerged as one of the greatest free agent signings in franchise history.

He made his first two Pro Bowls in 2017 and 2018 in his sixth and seventh NFL seasons and is on track to make a third straight.

No guard in Eagles history has ever made three Pro Bowls. Brooks, Shawn Andrews and Evan Mathis each made three.

The Eagles now have 26 players under contract through 2021, 14 through 2022 and five through 2023. Brooks is the only player on the roster signed through 2024.

On the offensive line, Isaac Seumalo and Andre Dillard are signed through 2022 and Lane Johnson and Kelce through 2021.

Jason Peters and Halapoulivaati Vaitai are currently due to become unrestricted free agents after this season.

Among those under contract through at least 2021 are Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Malik Jackson, Avonte Maddox and T.J. Edwards.

More on the Eagles