December 14, 2018
UPDATE [4:15 p.m.] — Carson Wentz is officially listed as doubtful on the Eagles final injury report. Here's more from Jimmy Kempski:
• QB Carson Wentz (back): It's laughable that the Eagles are going through the charade of pretending that Wentz is going to play in this game, and it's downright stupid to make the most important individual in the organization sit on a pair of six hour flights when the best thing for him is to rest his back.
You can read the full injury report, and Jimmy's breakdown of each player, here.
It's been a really weird year for Philadelphia, especially with regard to injuries amongst pro athletes in the city.
The latest oddity played out in real time, as the concerned and diligent staff of Eagles beat writers and reporters drilled head coach Doug Pederson with Carson Wentz related questions for 12 minutes and 24 seconds.
With the auditorium at the NovaCare Complex more populated than usual after it emerged that Wentz sustained a fractured vertebra in his back and could miss the rest of the year, Pederson was off to a friendly start, noting "more [reporters] than usual today, there must be something going on."
That would be the last smile on the coach's face.
"[Wentz] has a stress injury that, this thing has evolved over time, it requires zero surgery to heal," Pederson said. "He's questionable."
So is Wentz going to play this week? Will he be put on the IR and shut down for the year, opening up a much-needed roster spot as the Birds cling to slim playoff hopes?
"I don't think it needs to be aired out publicly," Pederson said, also noting that the injury takes three months to heal on its own. "It's an in-house decision and it's in Carson's best interest right now."
The timeline is hard to follow.
At some point, between making his return from off season ACL surgery in September until this past week, Wentz injured his back. It kept him out of a few practices and made him look a little less Wentz-like on the field, but appeared to be nothing serious.
Until a scan and examination this Tuesday revealed a stress fracture in his back.
Why did they wait so long to do the scan? If he is simply questionable why isn't he practicing?
"I'm not asking or answering anymore questions about it," a frustrated Pederson replied to one of the above questions. "We are playing the Rams in a few days in case you guys haven't figured that out."
Eagles media members pressed on.
The Wentz injury, Pederson would reveal, could require three months of rest to heal. Yet, he is traveling to Los Angeles and will remain on the 53-man roster.
"If we put him out there, there has to be 100 percent that there's no risk of anything further," Pederson said. "He's questionable."
"There were no symptoms, he was 100 percent," Pederson said of Wentz when asked of Wentz saying he's never felt better following the loss in Dallas last Sunday. "He practiced, he was not on the injury report for this, I had no issue with that."
"He had a test done on Tuesday and then everything has evolved. Until you do the scan you don't know," Pederson said.
The question now emerges: After a major wrist injury in college, his torn ACL last December and now this back injury, is Wentz ever going to be a consistently healthy football player?
"After three years you guys can probably sit here and say, 'It's a red flag,'" the coach said. "A lot of injuries happen because of the nature of the sport, the violent hits from the sport, guys know what they're getting themselves into, even from a young age. ... We have to do a better job of protecting him... it's not going to change the aggressiveness of my nature or his going forward."
So to recap: Wentz hurt his back a few weeks ago. It didn't keep him out of a game, but for some reason — despite his feeling great Monday — he received a scan that showed a stress fracture. Despite the fact that the Eagles are in a playoff race and the back injury will take up to three months to heal, Wentz is still questionable and will travel to L.A. this weekend.
"The information is, No. 1, no surgery which is a positive," Pederson said, answering one final question. "The fact that he doesn't need surgery on this is the best news you can possibly get on anyone who has a stress fracture or injury on this case."
Time for one more Doug?
"I'm out, I'm out."
We kind of are too.
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