November 3, 2018 at 8:49 am #17040
Carson Wentz made the rounds along Radio Row at last year’s Super Bowl and promised himself he’d be back for this one.
He’s here [url=http://www.officialducks.com/authentic-adidas-ondrej-kase-jersey]Ondrej Kase Jersey[/url] , but only as a cheerleader.
Wentz led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 10-2 start before he tore his left ACL and LCL in Week 14. Nick Foles replaced him, helped the Eagles clinch the NFC East and secure the No. 1 seed, and was spectacular in the conference championship game against Minnesota.
Wentz watched both playoff games from the sideline: the victory over the Falcons on crutches and the rout of the Vikings on a cane. He’s rooting hard for his teammates and enjoying their success without him. Wentz will be their No. 1 fan Sunday when they take on the New England Patriots and try to win the franchise’s first NFL title since 1960.
It’s not easy for any competitor to be forced to sit out.
”It’s just tough knowing that could be you,” said Wentz, who is walking without assistance now. ”I had my sights set on this thing since I knew we weren’t making the playoffs last year. I had my sights set on playing in Minneapolis. It’s right down the road from home. Here we are. It just looks different for me.”
Wentz, from neighboring North Dakota, is more than just a spectator. He has been a major presence around the team following surgery, goes to quarterback meetings, watches film and supports Foles as much as possible.
”He’s been outstanding,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. ”One of the greatest things about a person is when you see him celebrating somebody else’s success. To be happy for Nick who is at your position, who could potentially be stealing another person’s thunder, that’s the pretty cool thing about, of all the great things that he’s done this year, even more exemplifies the kind of leader that he is.”
Foles has said all the right things since the minute he stepped into the starting lineup. He’s close with Wentz and makes it a point to always give him credit for leading the Eagles from worst to first in the division.
”This is Carson’s team,” Foles said. ”I’ve had to take it over, but Carson is a tremendous player. I think he’s the MVP of the league. He’s a huge reason why we’re in this position. It’s been awesome just being around him. He’s handled this thing amazingly and he continues to be such a great leader in our locker room. When we go through game film and we go through everything, he’s an extremely intelligent player, so I listen to everything that he says.”
Wentz, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft, started every game his rookie season when the Eagles went 7-9. He took a giant leap as a sophomore, tossing 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games.
Wentz was voted to the Pro Bowl and is a contender for the NFL MVP award that will be announced Saturday night.
”He’s done such an amazing job in his two years in the NFL of continuing to create this atmosphere and obviously going out there making electric plays [url=http://www.officialducks.com/authentic-adidas-rickard-rakell-jersey]Rickard Rakell Jersey[/url] , but really just making everyone believe,” Foles said. ”That hasn’t changed though he’s injured. He’s still around, and I love having him around.”
While Foles stood center stage with Tom Brady at media night, Wentz sat in the stands at the hockey arena and spoke to reporters for about 25 minutes. He has relied on his strong faith to get him through the disappointment.
”When it comes to an injury like this, the season we were having, the season I was having personally and it gets taken away, it’s just a chance to practice what I preach and that I play for (God) and it’s not for myself,” Wentz said. ”It’s taught me a lot so far. He closed this door on this season for me but I know he’s going to open many other doors and he’s going to use me.”
If Foles leads the Eagles to victory over the Patriots , there still won’t be a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. Foles is signed through next season and provides insurance if Wentz isn’t ready to start the season opener. Having Foles on the roster allows Philadelphia the luxury of giving Wentz all the time he needs to get his knee right.
”Two years ago, the plan was to acquire a quarterback,” coach Doug Pederson said. ”That was our first plan, and we were able to do that in Carson. We do have the quarterback of the future for the Eagles, obviously.”
AP NFL website: Justin Smoak isn’t a fan of extra innings, so he was doubly happy about his game-winning homer against the slumping Detroit Tigers.
Smoak led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Detroit 4-3 on Saturday, handing the Tigers their 11th straight loss.
”Honestly, nobody wants to play extra innings,” Smoak said. ”To be able to do it in the ninth and get it over with is always a good feeling.”
This is Detroit’s longest losing streak since an 11-game skid in August 2003, the year the Tigers lost 119 times. The Tigers last lost 12 straight in 1996.
Three of Detroit’s 11 defeats, including the past two, have been one-run losses. The Tigers are 13-13 in one-run decisions.
”There’s things we can do better but we’re not playing bad,” Tigers starter Matt Boyd said. ”It may seem dire [url=http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-marquis-haynes-jersey]Marquis Haynes Jersey[/url] , but it’s not. We’re close to where we want to be and we’re going to come out on the other end of this.”
Smoak connected against reliever Joe Jimenez (3-1) for his 11th homer of the season. It was the second walk-off drive of his career, with the other coming in 2016 against Texas.
Smoak, who hit a two-run homer in Friday’s 3-2 win, has gone deep in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
”I’m just trying to be aggressive and it’s been better as of late,” he said.
Seunghwan Oh (4-2) worked one inning for the win. Randal Grichuk also homered for the Blue Jays, who have won 10 of 11 at home.
John Hicks hit a solo homer in the Detroit second off Sam Gaviglio and Nick Castellanos made it 3-0 with a two-run shot in the third, his 12th.
Boyd held the Blue Jays hitless until Kevin Pillar’s leadoff double in the fifth. Pillar moved to third on a one-out single by Aledmys Diaz and scored on a groundout by Devon Travis before Grichuk hit his tying homer.
”He was leaving the ball up just a little too much where they could get the bat head to it,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Boyd allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
”I made a few mistakes today and one of them went over the fence,” Boyd said.
Gaviglio gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings, matching his longest outing of the season.
Leonys Martin and Castellanos hit consecutive singles off Joe Biagini in the eighth but the Blue Jays right-hander retired the next three batters in order.
”We had runners in position a couple of times,” Gardenhire said. ”We just didn’t come up with the big one.”
Martin helped preserve the 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth by throwing out Travis at home plate. Travis was trying to score from second on Yangervis Solarte’s single to center, but couldn’t beat Martin’s one-hop throw. The assist was Martin’s ninth, tying him with Seattle’s Mitch Haniger for the AL lead.
With a heat alert in place for Toronto, the retractable roof at Rogers Centre was kept closed. The outdoor temperature was 88 degrees, with high humidity making it feel like 106.
Detroit has lost 12 of 14 in Toronto.
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Blue Jays C Luke Maile threw out two runners attempting to steal, both at second base. Maile threw out Jeimer Candelario in the first and Grayson Greiner in the seventh.
Tigers: RHP Alex Wilson had to leave in the eighth because of a sore left calf. Wilson missed almost a month earlier this season because of a strain in his left foot. … RHP Drew VerHagen (nasal fracture) will join Triple A Toledo Saturday night to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment. VerHagen has been out since June 20.
Blue Jays: Toronto put RHP Ryan Tepera (elbow) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled RHP Jake Petricka from Triple-A Buffalo.
Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 4.35) faces Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-3, 3.62) on Canada Day in Toronto. Zimmermann allowed seven runs in his previous start against Toronto on June 8, 2016. Happ has won six straight decisions and is unbeaten in eight outings.
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