From the end of the first several weeks of the NFL’s 2017-18 season until December 10, 2017, the Philadelphia Eagles were touted as one of the league’s best teams.
On that day in recent NFL history, the Eagles charged past the formidable Los Angeles Rams in a shootout 43-35 victory in front of their home crowd. The 9-3 Rams came to town looking to humble the 10-2 Eagles in an NFC matchup between two playoff-bound teams who are currently controlling their destiny and conference division.
However, during this explosive game between two current NFC juggernauts, Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz was forced to leave the game after sustaining a knee injury during the third quarter of the contest. Wentz was hit by two Rams defensive players on the play as he was scrambling toward the end zone.
Unfortunately, the positive yardage Wentz aggressively gained on that play was negated after referees called a holding penalty on Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson. According to Eagles head coach Doug Pedersen, Wentz injured his knee before he received contact on the gutsy play.
The 6’5″, 237-pound quarterback persevered on his team’s drive and ultimately threw a touchdown pass to his wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on a fourth down near the goal line. After the successful Wentz-orchestrated drive, the former first round, second overall NFL draft pick returned to the locker room for the remainder of the game.
The worst news on Wentz’s knee injury remained to be seen. Finally, at a Monday, December 11 press conference, Pedersen delivered the bad news that die-hard Eagles fans definitely did not want to hear. “[Wentz sustained] a torn ACL,” Pedersen said, according to NFL.com.
When members of the press consistently asked about the extent of his star second-year quarterback’s injury, Pederson remained optimistic and explained to reporters that his team has dealt with injury adversities earlier in the season. “We overcame a Pro Bowl left tackle [Jason Peters]. We overcame a middle linebacker [Jordan Hicks],” he said.
“We’ve overcome a core special teams player, our kicker this year. This is no different. Yeah, he is the quarterback of our football team and each one of these guys is tough to replace, but the reason we went out and got Nick Foles is for reasons like this, for situations like this,” Pedersen went on to say.
In their three remaining games, the Eagles face two weak division rivals (Giants, Cowboys) and an Oakland Raiders team that is not necessarily impressive either. Whether or not Pedersen’s bunch can go deep in this year’s postseason remains to be seen.