USA Today Sports

Recapping Doug's tense presser on Wentz's injury

Eliot Shorr-Parks
December 14, 2018 - 11:22 am

Without question the most important issue surrounding the Eagles right now is the status of injured quarterback Carson Wentz. 

Head coach Doug Pederson was not in the mood to talk about it on Friday. 

Pederson offered up an official statement of sorts on Wentz and his injured back at the beginning of his normal Friday press conference, stating Wentz had a “stress injury” and was questionable for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. 

“He has a stress injury. This thing has evolved over time,” Pederson said, “and it requires zero surgery to heal.”

What followed was one of the more tense press conferences of Pederson’s time as head coach. 

When asked about when Wentz suffered the initial injury, or when the pain started, Pederson simply stated the injury has evolved over time. 

“It has just evolved over time,” Pederson said. “I am not going to get into a ton of specifics.”

Why wasn’t Pederson going to get into specifics about his franchise player?

“Because I don’t think it needs to be aired out publicly,” Pederson said. “It is an in-house decision and that is how we are going to keep it. It is in Carson’s best interest right now.”

Wentz has missed the last two days of practice with the injury, and has been on the injury report multiple times this season with a back issue. Pederson stressed how positive it was that his quarterback was not going to need surgery to recover from the stress injury, but it sounds like he won’t be 100% for some time. 

“Don’t want to put a timetable on it,” Pederson said, “but it could be three months possibly.”

Pederson putting a potential timeframe of three months on the back injury would seem to mean that Wentz won’t be out on the field against the Rams, but he would not rule out the possibility that Wentz could play. In fact, Pederson stated Wentz will fly with the team to Los Angeles despite having back pain. 

“If we put him out there,” Pederson said of the potential of Wentz playing, “there has to be 100% that there is no risk of anything further.”

Since the news of Wentz’s injury was made public on Wednesday, many have wondered why the quarterback has been playing the last few weeks if he was dealing with back pain. His own teammates have commented on how tough Wentz was to play with the back issue. 

While it may be admirable that Wentz has played, Pederson was asked why his franchise player has been taking the field with an apparent issue in his back that has been evolving. 

“Because at the time, probably,” Pederson said, “it wasn’t identified as a stress injury or stress fracture.”

Pederson fired back at the idea Wentz has been playing injured. 

“There were no symptoms, he was 100%, he practiced,” Pederson said, “he was not on the injury report for this. No issue with that.”

It is important to note that Pederson was in a tough spot on Friday. He isn't on the medical staff. He isn't a doctor. The fact he was put out there to answer medical questions on his franchise quarterback, as opposed to a member of the medical staff or Howie Roseman, is almost unfair.

As tense as the press conference might have been, however, the back-and-forth is going to have little impact on the future of this team. What will decide just how competitive this team is going forward is the health of Wentz. With three injuries in three years that will cause him to miss time, some are starting to wonder if Wentz will be able to stay healthy. 

“To ask the question now, after three years, and the injury that is going on, I think you guys can sit here and say it is probably a red flag,” Pederson said. “A lot of injuries occur because of the nature of the sport. The violent hits of this sport. Guys know exactly what they are getting into, even at a young age. Carson is no different. Moving forward, we need to make sure we are doing a better job of protecting him.”

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at!