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Volume 24 No. 176
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NFL Takes Another Hit With Possible MVP Candidate Carson Wentz Out For Season

Eagles QB Carson Wentz is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL suffered yesterday against the Rams, and it comes at a time when the NFL "truly needs new young stars," according to Peter King of THE MMQB. TV ratings this season are down, and observers are "worried about the health of the players and the health of the game." The "biggest star to come into the league" in '16 was Wentz, and the "biggest star to come into the league" in '17 was Texans QB Deshaun Watson, who is also out for the season with an injury. It is a "very bad coincidence that both will be lost for the year" (SI.com, 12/11). In DC, Adam Kilgore writes this is "another black mark for a league already shaken by a staggering number of serious injuries to major stars." No NFL season "spares its participants, but this year has been especially harsh on the game’s brightest lights." This year, the league's best players have "only reinforced the damage football does," and their absences have "clearly hurt the quality of the product." (WASHINGTON POST, 12/11). FS1’s Skip Bayless said, “This is another big star that the league has lost, and it's just not good for anybody” (“Undisputed,” FS1, 12/11).

INJURY REPORT: THE RINGER's Kevin Clark writes the last 12 months have been "hellish on the presumed next wave of superstars." A little over a year ago, Raiders QB Derek Carr was "leading the MVP voting." But he broke his leg late in the season and "hasn’t exactly returned to glory." Wentz was "expected to battle" Patriots QB Tom Brady through the rest of December for the MVP. But fans "won’t get that now, just like we won’t get a full season" of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who would have "assuredly competed for it." Fans "barely saw" Texans DE J.J. Watt at all, and "didn’t get" a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman and S Kam Chancellor were lost right as the team "started to figure things out," while Colts QB Andrew Luck "hasn’t played this year" (THERINGER.com, 12/11). ESPN’s Ryan Clark said, “I can't remember a year that this many marquee guys were out for the season" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 12/11). NBCSN's Chris Simms asked, "Are we going to lose every great player this whole season? It's just unbelievable when you list the names" ("PFT," NBCSN, 12/11).

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME: YAHOO SPORTS' Frank Schwab wrote yesterday's events are "just how the NFL’s season is going." The negative stories have "overshadowed the sport, whether it’s the national anthem protests, claims that the league blackballed Colin Kaepernick, the league’s insufferable fight" with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott through various courtrooms or a feud with President Trump or "everyone dissecting television ratings." Additionally, there has been the "mishandling of concussions" and Steelers LB Ryan Shazier’s "horrendous spinal injury." Whenever the NFL thinks it has a good story this season, it "ends up getting ruined." Eagles-Rams was "one of the best games of the season, with Wentz stealing the show." Then all the headlines "changed in an instant." An Eagles Super Bowl run "would have been a boon for the NFL" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/10).