Lack of Transparency Fueled Unfair Wentz Rumors
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - No doubt weary after taking far too many lumps after a disastrous attempt to control the Carson Wentz narrative, the Eagles attempted to get their story out to the public through a familiar conduit.
Citing an NFL source NBCSports Philadelphia's John Clark laid out the Eagles version of events in the wake of Wentz's latest physical ailment, "a stress injury" to his back that "evolved" over time, according to coach Doug Pederson.
The thing about trying to control the dissemination of information is that it creates a conduit of misinformation, everything from the ludicrous like a Philadelphia-area radio station's report that the Eagles tried to hide injury information from Wentz to the more mundane like independent sources claiming to 973espn.com that Wentz is suffering from a hairline fracture of the vertebrae, an injury which will not require surgery but will demand potentially up to two months of the rest, a number Pederson actually increased by 30 days at his Friday press conference.
Clark's source, who clearly calls One NovaCare Way home, insisted that the Eagles had been evaluating and monitoring Wentz’s back over the past few months, likely since the first time the issue cropped up on the injury report before the Week 7 loss to Carolina. Multiple MRIs and other tests have been ordered but the "fracture," a term not used by Pederson in his press conference but stipulated to the fact it could be used by others only came up on imaging this week.
Something has to trigger the latest round of testing on Tuesday and that was Wentz feeling some pain in another area, according to Clark's source.
Whether it "evolved" or not is semantics but the Eagles are sporting rabbit ears over consistent criticism aimed at the medical staff this season, another self-inflicted wound after the significant changes made by Howie Roseman after Super Bowl LII were not fully explained.
In truth Roseman's reimagining of the franchise's medical team had nothing to do with the care or lack thereof of the players, an NFL source told 973espn.com. Instead, it was about shutting off perceived leaks and further controlling the narrative.
So, the perceived incompetence of the Philadelphia medical staff is unfair and the narrative driven by some that the Eagles would knowingly withhold information from Wentz and risk further injury to a player regarded as the face of the franchise is out there to say the least.
In fact, a source very close to Wentz told 973espn.com that it was the quarterback who was pushing hard for Week 1 this season and even though the team thought he was ready from a physical standpoint the Eagles took the ultra-cautious approach by waiting a full nine months coming off his ACL/LCL surgery on Dec. 13 of last year.
So why be cautious early in the season and reckless late?
Misinformation falls apart when put under the harsh light of common sense.
A lack of transparency, however, allows that misinformation to ferment and the Eagles should be learning a lesson French philosopher Voltaire first explained in the 1700s -- "Common sense is not so common."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen