ST. PAUL, Minn. — Carson Wentz sent in his RSVP for Super Bowl LII early.
“The second I knew we weren’t making the playoffs last year, I had my sights set on this one,” the Eagles quarterback said this past week, soaking in the pomp of Super Bowl Opening Night from a seat in the stands at Xcel Arena. “I was like: It’s right down the road from home [in Fargo], it all makes sense. I’m going to be there.”
He was right. Sort of.
Wentz and the Eagles are at the Super Bowl, but Wentz himself will be watching from the sideline. He tore his ACL in December and has been a spectator for the postseason run.
“This,” he said looking around at the hoopla and energy of the leadup to the game, “is a little bittersweet.”
Despite not being on the field, Wentz has been, his teammates say, the consummate teammate and leader. He remains in meetings with the quarterbacks, helps backup Nick Foles and, as of the NFC title game two weeks ago, stands with the team during the games.
“It’s definitely different, just knowing the extent of the injury and how long it’s going to take to get back,” Wentz said. “But our team’s been rolling, and it’s been so cool to see everybody elevate their level of play week in and week out to get this far, and overcome all of the injuries that we’ve had. Three of our five captains are on injured reserve, but here we are. We’re in the Super Bowl.”
As tough as it was for Wentz to juggle the mixed emotions of Monday, which was the only time he spoke with the media last week, he anticipated it getting more difficult as the week marched on toward Sunday’s game.
“I’ve been saying it all week that once the team and our offense takes the field, it will hit me a little bit,” he said. “But once I get those emotions out of the way and I’m around the guys and we’re preparing, it’s back to normal. It’s all good. It’s just a different feeling, for sure.”