Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles have to play it smart with injured Carson Wentz

With a faint chance to make the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles may wind up shutting down Carson Wentz.

Carson Wentz’s season might be over, and that almost certainly means the Philadelphia Eagles’ season is too.

It’s been a disappointing season for the Eagles, who have a 6-7 record and a remote chance to make the playoffs. Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams is a must-win in an effort to cling to any playoff hopes, but Ian Rapoport  of NFL Network has reported quarterback Wentz (back) is not expected to play.

Wentz has been on the injury report at various times this season with a back issue, but Wednesday was going to be the first time he wouldn’t practice at all due to the injury. Head coach Doug Pederson was not initially willing to declare anything definitive about Wentz’s status for the game against the Rams, essentially suggesting the third-year signal caller was day-to-day.

Wentz missed the first two games of the season as he worked his way back from a torn ACL, which he suffered last year against the Rams. He’s averaging more yards per game and per attempt than he did last year before the knee injury, but the eye test says he has not quite been right.

The Eagles probably have to win out to cement a Wild Card spot, and even then they’ll need some help. With or without Wentz, beating the Rams is a tall task to get that run started. Then the AFC South-leading Houston Texans are coming in Week 16, and Philadelphia will not be favored at home.

Nick Foles started the final three regular season games last year, before becoming a playoff star in the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. A full repeat isn’t coming this year, but if Foles plays well in another opportunity he can remind quarterback-hungry teams he’s set to hit free agency after the season.

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It’s never easy to essentially throw in the towel on a season when there’s still a chance to make the playoffs, but in this case the Eagles have an acceptable reason. Wentz’s long-term health is the No. 1 priority, and he has now added back spasms to only being a little over a year removed from a major knee injury.

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