NFL

Dallas Goedert Just Dealt a Potentially Devastating Blow to Carson Wentz’s Career

Carson Wentz may have a $128 million contract, but he entered the 2020 NFL season with questions about his ability to stay healthy and lead the Philadelphia Eagles back to the Super Bowl. So far, the 27-year-old has managed to avoid getting hurt—something he has been unable to do in three of his first four years in the NFL. However, his teammates have not been so lucky.

In fact, one of Wentz’s top weapons, Dallas Goedert, just dealt a potentially devastating blow to his quarterback’s career. Expected to be out for a significant period of time with an ankle injury, Goedert’s absence leaves Wentz and the Eagles even more short-handed on offense. And if the fifth-year pro continues to struggle, and the team falls completely out of the playoff hunt, that could force Philadelphia to consider playing Jalen Hurts sooner than expected.

Carson Wentz has been a major disappointment this season

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When the Eagles drafted Carson Wentz No. 2 overall in 2016, it was with the expectation that he would solidify the quarterback spot for the next decade. Though he has flashed Pro Bowl ability at times, injuries have played a significant factor in his rather underwhelming career.

Sure, Wentz played at an MVP level in 2017. However, a torn ACL ended his breakout campaign and gave Nick Foles the opportunity to lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl title.

In 2018, Wentz once again finished the season on the sidelines due to a back injury. He also suffered a concussion in the team’s opening-round playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks back in January.

Entering the season, the former North Dakota State star needed to prove he could stay healthy and put Philadelphia back on a Super Bowl path. However, he has gotten off to a poor start in the Eagles’ first three games.

In Week 1, Wentz threw two interceptions and got sacked eight times in a 27-17 loss to the Washington Football Team. In fact, he has thrown two interceptions in each of the first three weeks. Though the offense has been short-handed due to injuries, Wentz’s overall play has certainly not lived up to expectations.

Dallas Goedert just dealt a potentially devastating blow to Wentz’s career

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The injury blows keep on coming for the Eagles. Having already lost Andre Dillard and Brandon Brooks for the year, Philadelphia suffered another critical blow to its offense. The team announced on Tuesday that Dallas Goedert has been placed on injured reserve with a fractured ankle. That puts the promising tight end out for at least three weeks, and given the severity of his injury, it seems likely that it will take longer for him to get back to full strength.

Goedert’s injury represents a potentially devastating blow to Carson Wentz’s career. The Eagles employ two-tight end sets more than any other NFL team. Zach Ertz may be listed as the starter, but Goedert may as well be listed as one, too. In Week 1, the 25-year-old tight end played 79% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps; that number jumped to 89% in Week 2. Last season, Goedert played 66% of the snaps—a significant leap from 48% as a rookie.

For Wentz, losing one of his top weapons further hurts his chances of turning the Eagles around this season. Defenses can dedicate their attention to stopping Ertz, who leads the team with 24 targets. Plus, Goedert’s absence could force Doug Pederson to radically shift his offensive philosophy now that he has lost one of the league’s rising stars at tight end.

And if the Eagles and their 27th-ranked scoring offense continue to struggle, that could spell trouble for Carson Wentz’s future in Philadelphia. After all, a promising quarterback prospect waits in the wings.

Could Jalen Hurts see the field if the Eagles continue to struggle on offense?

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Though the pick did not raise eyebrows quite like the Jordan Love selection, the Eagles did surprise many people by taking Jalen Hurts with the 53rd overall pick back in April. Naturally, that led to speculation about Carson Wentz’s future with the franchise.

Despite tipping the scales at just 6-foot-1, 223 pounds, Hurts brings an entirely different dimension to the table given his elite athleticism. A dual-threat star at both Alabama and Oklahoma, he torched defenses as both a passer and as a runner while routinely putting his team in a position to compete for a national title.

Should Wentz and the Eagles fall completely out of the playoff picture by midseason, that could add fuel to the fire for those who want to see the rookie in action. But would Philadelphia be willing to bench their highly-paid quarterback to get Hurts on the field? The team can actually get out of Wentz’s contract after next season, though they would have to eat a $24 million dead cap charge.

Ultimately, Dallas Goedert’s injury will have a major trickle-down effect on Carson Wentz’s career. Unless he can overcome the loss of his talented tight end, expect the Eagles QB to continue to struggle this season. And if that proves to be the case, perhaps Jalen Hurts will relegate the former second-overall pick to being a very expensive backup.

All contract data courtesy of Spotrac. All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.