The Eagles’ most important player was knocked out of Sunday’s wild-card playoff loss to the Seahawks.
Carson Wentz, who was making his first playoff start against Seattle after missing Philadelphia’s last two postseason runs with injuries, tried to duck down while getting tackled on a scramble late in the first quarter. In the process, he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Seahawks pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney. There was no flag on the play.
MORE: Seahawks vs. Eagles live updates
Wentz was evaluated for a concussion on the sideline before he walked back to the locker room with trainers. The Eagles announced he was questionable to return with a head injury, and Wentz later was ruled out for the rest of the game.
Eagles 40-year-old backup quarterback Josh McCown entered the game on the team’s next drive and played the rest of the game. McCown finished 18-of-24 passing for 174 yards and a rating of 94.8.
After the game, NFL cameras caught Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson asking Eagles coach Doug Pederson about Wentz’s condition. Pederson told Wilson the Philly QB would be “fine.”
“I didn’t see it. No comment. There’s nothing I can do about it,” Pederson told reporters after the game when asked about the Clowney hit that ended Wentz’s night.
Game referee Shawn Smith told a pool reporter after the game why Clowney was not flagged for his hit.
“[Wentz] was a runner and did not give himself up,” Smith said. “We saw incidental helmet contact, and in our judgment, we didn’t rule that to be a foul.”
Clowney told reporters he was just “playing fast” and “trying to get” Wentz to the turf.
“It was a bang-bang play,” Clowney said, per USA Today. I don’t intend to hurt anybody in this league, let me just put that out there. I’ve been down the injury road; it’s not fun.”
Wentz, 27, missed the Eagles’ Super Bowl run two years ago after a December ACL tear ended his season. Last year, he suffered a back fracture that kept him out of the postseason, in which the Eagles lost to the Saints in the divisional round.
The Eagles, who drafted Wentz with the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, signed him to a four-year, $128 million contract extension in June. He is the fifth-highest paid player in the NFL.