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Carson Wentz suffers torn ACL in win over Rams


In the blink of an eye, the NFL has lost one of its brightest young stars for the rest of the season.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson confirmed Monday that second-year quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sunday, tearing his left ACL in Philadelphia's 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

The team officially placed Wentz on injured reserve on Tuesday.

Wentz injured the knee on a third-quarter scrambling dive into the end zone, a touchdown that was called back because of holding penalty on tackle Lane Johnson. The second-year starting quarterback was hit by a pair of Rams defenders on the run.

Pederson told reporters he believed the injury occurred right before the hit on Wentz.

"It appears watching the film again today it was actually before the contact so it could be a non-contact deal," Pederson said. "But that's just what it appears like on tape."

Wentz courageously played through the pain for another four snaps, ultimately finding Alshon Jeffery for a 2-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal. After the drive, Wentz retreated to the locker room, giving way to backup Nick Foles, who led the team to a pair of field goal drives and the costly victory.

He thanked fans for their support in a video message he posted to Twitter on Monday:

The loss of Wentz is dark and devastating for a team sitting atop the NFC. A viable MVP candidate, the big-bodied passer was enjoying a breakout campaign for the ages, throwing for a league-leading and franchise-record 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

For all the ways Wentz scattered opponents with his powerful arm, dazzling mobility and aggressive feats of daring-do, the young quarterback came into his own this season as one of the game's premier pre-snap magicians.

Wentz has shown beyond-his-years ability to dissect defensive looks, play with pace, catch opponents off guard and pinpoint the ideal moment to strike downfield. These qualities can't be masked over by even the finest backup.

Foles is an experienced signal-caller -- 20-16 as an NFL starter -- and surrounded by a top-shelf roster, but the Eagles simply aren't the same team without their irreplaceable leader.

"We overcame a Pro Bowl left tackle [Jason Peters]. We overcame a middle linebacker [Jordan Hicks]," Pederson 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. I'm excited for Nick obviously. I hate it for Carson Wentz; I hate it for the career and the season he's been having but at the same time it's been the next man up mentality and that's how we approach it this week."

With games left against the Giants, Raiders and Cowboys, Philadelphia is talented enough to run the table and command home-field advantage. Where they go from there, though, is tough to imagine with Wentz saddled in the distance.

During a season soiled by endless quarterback injuries and off-the-field drama, losing Wentz serves as a pre-Christmas sucker punch to the belly of any fan who adores fine quarterback play. He will be sorely missed.


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