USA Today Sports

Wentz's back injury: Latest news and analysis

Eliot Shorr-Parks
December 12, 2018 - 12:41 pm

There is never a boring day covering the Eagles. 

A day that was supposed to be spent discussing the team’s must-win game against the Los Angeles Rams changed completely when head coach Doug Pederson steeped to the podium at the NovaCare Complex and announced Carson Wentz would miss practice with a sore back. 

Less than an hour later, after one NFL.com report, we might have seen the last of Wentz this season. 

Here are some thoughts on everything that has happened today:

What we know: Let’s start with what we actually know to be 100% true. Wentz will not practice on Wednesday due to back soreness. Pederson would also not commit to Wentz playing on Sunday, but he certainly didn’t rule it out either. At this point, the team’s stance is this — they are seeing where Wentz is at the end of Wednesday before making any decisions. 

The report: Of course, teams are often not the first to announce major injury news. Shortly after Pederson’s press conference, NFL.com reported that Wentz is not expected to play vs. Los Angeles and might not play again this season. The report didn’t state how serious the back injury was — just that because of the time of the year, with three games to play, Wentz might not play again. The Eagles’ 6-7 record likely will have an impact on that as well. The Eagles have not yet confirmed the report, so it is important to note that Wentz might very well play this Sunday or again this season. 

Wentz’s back: This is not the first time Wentz’s back has been an issue this season. Wentz was on the injury report three straight weeks, from Week 6 to Week 8, earlier this year. The first time he was limited due to “rest”, then was limited back-to-back weeks with a back issue. He did not flat out miss any practices, he was just limited three times. Still, at the time, the team tried to downplay the issue. Perhaps Wentz’s back injury has gotten worse, or perhaps he was always playing in pain, but regardless it seems this is something Wentz has been dealing with all season. 

Going forward: The report of Wentz potentially missing this season already has some taking a leap forward and discussing the quarterback’s ability to stay health. If Wentz does not play again this year, it will be the second year in a row he will end the season on the bench with an injury. Since being drafted by the Eagles in 2016, Wentz has suffered two injuries that caused him to miss time (broken ribs in 2016, ACL in 2017) and now a back injury that might cause him to miss time as well. Whether Wentz can be labeled as injury prone is still up for debate, and we likely need more info on this latest back injury before it is fair to label him. 

If Wentz does indeed miss the last three games, however, there is no denying that many will view Wentz as injury prone. In an offseason where the team will likely be discussing a new contract with him for the first time, that is something it will be hard to ignore. 

Foles: It is hard to talk about Wentz missing time without discussing the Super Bowl winner elephant in the room. Wentz potentially going to the bench means it will likely be Foles that steps in and plays on Sunday. The potential ramifications and drama of Foles taking over are crazy to think about. What if Foles wins on Sunday in Los Angeles? What if the offense looks better with him under center? Would the Eagles go back to Wentz if Foles wins? What if Foles takes the team to the playoffs? Could the Eagles sit Wentz even if he is healthy if Foles gets hot?

The possibilities, because of how unique the Eagles’ situation is at quarterback, are endless. 

Sure, thinking about taking about all of those questions are taking about 15 steps forward. Wentz could still play on Sunday. This could end up being nothing more than Wentz waking up and feeling sore. 

Still, the news of Wentz missing practice sure has changed what was going to be a regular Wednesday into a crazy one — which is pretty much par for the course with the 2018 Eagles. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

Tags: