Philadelphia Eagles look to get on a run as Carson Wentz runs more

Friday, October 9, 2020
(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Let's be honest, every time Carson Wentz runs with the ball, Eagles fan hold their breath.

Whether it's fair or not, there's a reason to be worried when Wentz is in an open field and not protected by his offensive line.

Wentz has had his fair share of injuries during his short career including a season-ending knee injury during the Super Bowl season.

Since being drafted by the Eagles in 2016, Wentz has had a rib injury, knee injury, back injury and he suffered a concussion last season that knocked him out of their playoff loss against Seattle.

While injuries are a part of the game, protecting their franchise quarterback is there number one goal as Wentz is yet to start and finish an Eagles playoff game in his career.

Having said that, Eagles coach Doug Pederson says Wentz has made good decisions trusting his instincts and getting out of harm's way as he's been running the ball more this season than ever before.

"Normally when he takes off, he's made the right decision, whether it's a pass play and he scrambles or it's a designed run for him. He's done a nice job of that and getting down. He's protected himself well. There has been a couple of times --- I know at the end of the game he took a short sack which is okay in a four-minute situation. He knows he's going to get hit there but those are all things we can control. I think he's made great decisions using his legs so far this year and it has really helped us stay on the field on a third down situation. And obviously, the nice run for the touchdown the other day was really a special play by him, making the guy miss. It's just something that he's comfortable doing. We're comfortable putting him in that situation. We don't want to do it too much, but as long as he protects himself and we can help him do that, then we're okay," Pederson says.

Wentz has ran with the ball more in the last two games than any two-game stretch of his NFL career.

And there's a good reason that Wentz is running the ball more.

The Eagles have been decimated by injuries on offense especially at receiver and on the line. Therefore, protections are breaking down and it's forcing the quarterback to make a play.

"Using my legs always just comes down to instincts," Wentz says.

Wentz has made plays trusting his instincts. He has a career-high three rushing touchdowns this season already.

Wentz who is always critical of himself, even jokes he wants to be better when he's running with the football and scores a touchdown.

"Those are pretty lame. I've gotta work on those," Wentz jokes of his end zone celebrations.

The Eagles may not need Wentz to use his legs as much on Sunday against. The team is hoping to have DeSean Jackson back as well as Alshon Jeffery, who has been out the entire season recovering from foot surgery.

Having his top receivers back and the ability to run may open things up even more for their struggling offense.

"I think it can only help him. Whether it translates into the passing game, I'm not sure. You need your legs to throw the ball as well and we don't want to gas him out by using his legs all the time. It does help the offense, it helps the offense kind of get into a rhythm when he's getting and gaining positive yards on first, second or third down. Kind of maybe gets the offense settled in a little bit. But he's done a nice job with it and we'll keep exploring more opportunities each week as we go," Pederson adds.

Pederson and Eagles coaches continue to stress to Wentz to protect himself over and over again. It's a constant reminder they can not afford to lose their franchise quarterback to yet another injury.