Wentz had been facing some back stiffness and it had at times seemed a bit sore, but not like this. On December 9th, 2018, he approached each offensive possession looking like he was in pain while playing against the Cowboys. Something was off. Something pretty bad.
Tests came back and Carson Wentz was diagnosed with a fractured vertebra (NFL). He had a history of injuries before this specifically, including a torn ACL the season before, and a rib injury during his rookie season. At this point, it must have seemed overwhelming.
In that same season where he tore his ACL, his backup — Nick Foles, led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win in the history of the franchise. But it wasn’t Foles who was having an MVP-caliber season, it was Carson Wentz. He deserved credit for the Eagles’ stellar season, but sadly wasn’t given it. It reminds me a lot of what happened to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in the 2016 season.
The Eagles did not do so well the next season without Wentz. At the end of their 16 regular season games, they were 9-7. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that Nick Foles is a great quarterback and a great guy, but it’s pretty hard to top Carson Wentz when it comes to high-pressure, intense situations where the whole season is on the line for the team. Carson probably wished so bad that he could play. He had just gotten done with one injury and then another quickly hijacked his next season too. Trust me, I’ve been there and may I just say that these times, for an athlete, are just the worst. The absolute worst.
These are the moments that either make or break a player’s career. And just as Peyton Manning succeeded after showing that the hardship of injury can be a key motivator in working harder, Carson Wentz did the same thing.
Luckily, his back did not need surgery so he had a head start there. That at least gave him a few weeks longer that he would be recovering back to play football. He was smart and stayed off of activity for a while — he has now begun to play again.
Just last week in the Eagles first game, Wentz threw for 313 yards and had three touchdowns with zero interceptions! Two of those touchdowns were 50 yard passes to Desean Jackson! Here’s a video of his highlights from Week 1:
With Wentz back, I see the Eagles doing really great things this season. The performance in Week 1 was so amazing that I would argue that they are back as Super Bowl contenders. But all of this depends on if Carson Wentz can stay healthy. He is the cornerstone of this team.
By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA – Carson Wentz, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62496689