Philadelphia Eagles: Counting on Carson Wentz just hurts too much

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

With another Philadelphia Eagles postseason campaign compromised by a QB injury, one has to ask: Is it emotionally irresponsible to count on Carson Wentz?

After two years of anticipation and five games of exemplary play by Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles fans finally got a chance to see Carson Wentz, the $128 million man, make his postseason debut.

It lasted all of eight minutes.

Wentz played well, not amazingly, but well enough to get the Linc rocking and the crowd going wild, but after four passing attempts, good for three yards, it was over before it really began.

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Now a lot has been said about Jadeveon Clowney‘s now-infamous no-call that knocked Wentz out of the game – whether it was a dirty play, an ejectable offense, or one worthy of a massive fine – but in all honesty it was what it was; players get hurt all the time, it’s what a team does with these injuries that matters.

To Doug Pederson and Josh McCown‘s credit, they did about all they could.

Trotting out a 40-year-old quarterback who has all but certainly played his final NFL snaps – oddly enough in his first postseason snaps over a 17-year-career – the Birds’ offense made the most of a bad hand and turned in some pretty impressive plays from Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and maybe most crucially of all, a pass interference penalty on recently-returned fifth-round pick Shelton Gibson.

But for all of the good, it just wasn’t enough.

Whether it be a dropped pass by Sanders on a crucial fourth-quarter fourth down, or a pre-throw sack on what would be the team’s final offensive snap of the season, Pederson’s squad had to play a darn-near perfect game to advance to the second round of the playoffs with DeSean Jackson and Wentz potentially reinforcing a playoff run.

They did not.

Again, had Wentz played the full game, maybe things would have been different – look at Twitter, Facebook, the parking lot of a Wawa, it seems like everyone has an opinion on the subject – but at this point, should we really be surprised with the results?

Wentz just can’t stay healthy and it feels borderline irresponsible to believe in him delivering a Super Bowl to this town as a full-time starter.

I know, I know, this shouldn’t be a conversation today, but I’m sorry, after doubting Wentz all season – going so far as to suggest the Birds draft Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa as QB competition – I even fell for the new narrative that this season could be different.

And why wouldn’t I? The underdog, next man up mentality was back. Sure, this year’s team had a whole lot less offensive talent than its 2017 counterpart, but Wentz plus Greg Ward, Dallas Goedert, and an injured Zach Ertz surely had to be as good as a fully-stocked offense led by Foles, right?

We’ll never be able to find out, and we may never find out.

Wentz is injury-prone, this is a fact. Can we reliably count on an injury-prone quarterback to lead a team deep into the playoffs when all but one of his professional seasons have been prematurely squashed by injuries? Granted, a back injury, a torn-up knee, and a (presumed) concussion have nothing to do with one another and hardly implies a chronic issue, but isn’t the consistency of Wentz’s unavailability a symptom of a larger issue?

Maybe Wentz is Joel Embiid and after these issues pass he’ll have a long and fruitful career, but maybe Wentz is Bo Jackson, a massive talent who never quite made it because of injuries.

Next. Please, please, please make Rasul Douglas a safety. dark

Chalk it up to postgame emotions, but I don’t know if I can personally count on Carson Wentz as the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback, regardless of how much I want to. Putting too much time and too much emotional energy into a quarterback who just can’t stay healthy isn’t healthy and can hard clamp a Super Bowl window more than pretty much any other factor – more than coaching, more than play-calling, and more than personnel around him.