December 22, 2016
In the scope of everything he’s been through in his life, and everything that’s happened to him this year, Eagles’ long-snapper Jon Dorenbos has a unique term for the throbbing, searing pain that’s going through his right hand: It’s a champagne problem.
Dorenbos, who garnered national attention from his long run on the TV show “America’s Got Talent” during the summer for his sleight-of-hand magic tricks, suffered a broken right wrist and tore every ligament in his right hand after being blocked on the side by Washington Redskins’ safety Deshazor Everett (the same player that knocked out Darren Sproles) on a punt early in the third quarter of the Eagles’ 27-22 loss at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 11.
Consequently, Dorenbos, 36, had to undergo season-ending surgery, which ended his streak of 162 consecutive games played with the Eagles – a number that left him tied for the club record set by wide receiver Harold Carmichael from 1972-83.
The injury shortened what Dorenbos deemed the best season of his career, but it will not curtail his other job — as a magician. He’s not just any long snapper. Of the 32 teams in the NFL, the rabid Eagles’ fanbase is probably the only group that knows who their team’s long snapper is. Dorenbos has received a nationwide outpouring, receiving over 600 text messages and over 200 voicemails since he got out of surgery.
When he initially was hurt, Dorenbos thought he shattered his hand. He will be in a cast for 12 weeks, and the pins in his hand will be removed in two months. He’s expected to make a full recovery in three to four months doctors told him.
“I will be back, hell yeah, definitely, I have unfinished business out there,” said the 14-year NFL veteran and currently the longest-tenured athlete of the four major Philadelphia pro sports team. “I want to win a Super Bowl so bad here before I retire, and this injury will motivate me even more. You look around and see all the problems people have today and this is a champagne problem, not that big of a problem at all. This year was the best I ever played. I thought I had another shot at the Pro Bowl.
"I’ll be honest, I hate it. I want to play. I wanted to play right after I got hurt. I tried a couple of practice snaps and the pain was too much."
“The fans have been great. But I haven’t had too much of a chance to respond. I didn’t have my cell with me for a while. It’s been painful. I’ve been trying to sleep as much as I can these last two weeks. The first 10 days was more pain than I anticipated. The show of support has been great. It helps. And obviously, since being on the show, fans that didn’t know anything about the Eagles have reached out. Stuff like ‘Get better,’ Love you,’ really nice sentiments. I appreciate it all and it’s cool that people think of me like that. My main priority now is to get myself back together and get ready for next year.”
Dorenbos won’t be able to practice his magic completely until 12 weeks, but there was one bonus to the injury: He’s left handed. Actually, Dorenbos does everything with his left hand with the exception of long snapping.
“I’m left-handed, so I’m good with the simple functions of life,” Dorenbos said. “But I’ll be honest, I hate it. I want to play. I wanted to play right after I got hurt. I tried a couple of practice snaps and the pain was too much. I hated coming out of the game and I wanted to go back in. I have a pride and a commitment to the guys that I play with. This is my situation and I can’t change it. I’m going to enjoy the last two games of the year as a fan and be there for the guys.
“But I have to move on. This isn’t going to stop my other career. I’ve never been someone who sits back and feels sorry for himself. The way I look at it is that it’s a champagne problem.”