Wentz keeps feelings to himself after Eagles win without him
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Perhaps there will come a time when Carson Wentz wants to talk about having to watch the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl.
For the man expected to be the next franchise quarterback for the Eagles, it wasn’t going to be the moments after Nick Foles led a 41-33 win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
Wentz said he just wanted to celebrate with the Super Bowl MVP and the rest of his teammates, which he did. He shared quiet conversation in the locker room with owner Jeffrey Lurie before tight end Brent Celek grabbed him by the shoulders and said, “Brothers for life.”
A few minutes later, Wentz, Foles and Nate Sudfeld, the backup since Wentz’s season-ending knee injury in Week 14, huddled near their lockers and bolted out a door, headed to an area off-limits to reporters.
Wentz didn’t flat-out say no when asked if he wanted to talk, and got a little testy when a reporter tried to find out what “soon” meant. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft smiled a lot, too, as he wandered the locker room.
“You just know it’s tough when you talk to him sometimes,” receiver Torrey Smith said. “It would be tough for me. He would have been the MVP of the league if he didn’t get hurt. You know that’s tough.”
Wentz, who walked gingerly and didn’t step into throws while making tosses alongside Foles during warmups, tore two ligaments in his left knee in a win over the Los Angeles Rams in December.
Foles and the Philadelphia offense were up and down through three regular-season games and the playoff opener, a 15-10 win over Atlanta.
But in his final two postseason games, Foles threw for 725 yards and six touchdowns, three in each game. He even caught a scoring pass in the Super Bowl.
After the Eagles fell behind for the first time in the fourth quarter against the Patriots, Foles guided 14-play, 75-yard drive to what ended up being the winning score — an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz.
When Brady’s desperation pass hit the ground in the end zone on the final play, Wentz stormed the field alongside everyone else. And that sideline had some other key players in street clothes — two-time All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters and speedy running back Darren Sproles.
Oh, and Wentz held the Lombardi Trophy over his head during the celebration.
“When he went down, the foundation had been laid so strong that we weren’t usually swayed by anything,” Ertz said. “We lost so many guys through this journey. Carson just gave us confidence every time we stepped on the field at the beginning of the season.”
Coach Doug Pederson lauded Wentz for staying engaged with his teammates after the injury. He was leading the NFL with 33 touchdown passes when he got hurt and finished just one behind league leader Russell Wilson of Seattle.
“He was in there in the mornings studying the tape with the quarterbacks like he always does,” Pederson said. “And then he’d come to practice and just watch. Any advice that he had for Nick he would give it. If he felt like it wasn’t necessary, he wouldn’t give it. Just a great resource for Nick.”
Wentz says he plans to be ready for the regular season in September. If not, Foles is under contract for another season, and the Eagles could get offers from teams looking for a starter after what the sixth-year pro did in the playoffs.
“I’m not going to say it’s bittersweet,” Smith said. “But you know as a competitor you want to be on the field. I know he’s genuinely happy for Foles and this team. And I know more so than anything this is motivation for him to come back stronger than ever and to help lead this team back to this position.”
From time to time during the offseason, the Eagles will also get the question some just can’t resist asking after a backup becomes a Super Bowl MVP. Who’s the starter?
“Man, here you go,” receiver Alshon Jeffery said. “Shut you off, man. You know who is throwing the ball. Carson, of course.”
As far as talking, though, Wentz deferred to Foles on this night.