PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Six games in, Carson Wentz and Jason Kelce are the remaining healthy starters on offense for the Philadelphia Eagles.
And, they’re also beaten up.
Wentz rallied a depleted group from a 16-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter but was tackled on a 2-point conversion with 1:55 remaining and the Eagles lost 30-28 to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
The Eagles came in missing offensive linemen Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Matt Pryor and Isaac Seumalo; wide receivers DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Reagor; and tight end Dallas Goedert. Running back Miles Sanders and tight end Zach Ertz were injured in the second half.
Still, it took a big defensive stop for the Ravens (5-1) to win.
“I would say Kelce and Carson were banged-up, too,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “Every healthy body that we had played in this game. It’s tough to win in the NFL and you know where we’re at health-wise. These guys battled their tails off and still had a chance to win against a healthy, healthy team. I’m proud of those guys.
“There are no moral victories in the NFL, but for this team to hang together on the sideline, to not point fingers, and with all the mistakes in the first half ... I’m proud of the guys for the way they battled.”
The Eagles (1-4-1) won’t have much time to heal up because they will host the New York Giants (1-5) on Thursday. Despite a poor record, they’re still in the mix in a weak NFC East led by Dallas (2-3).
“We’ve had injuries before but obviously this is on another level,” Kelce said. “You can’t make excuses. It’s part of the way this season is going. You roll with the circumstances best you can and try to find a way to get things done.”
Wentz threw a pair of touchdown passes, including an 18-yarder to Travis Fulgham on fourth-and-9, and ran for a score. He scrambled for 49 yards, got sacked six times and sustained numerous hits, including a couple personal fouls.
“Carson is the type of guy who is going to put the team on his back, especially when we are faced with adversity and he wants the ball in his hands all the time,” Pederson said. “Carson playing as tough as he did really kept us in this game.”
The offense couldn’t do anything in the first half. John Hightower dropped a perfect deep pass on third-and-23 on the opening drive. That play could’ve been at least a 50-yard gain or possibly an 88-yard TD.
The Eagles went three-and-out on five of the first six possessions and Wentz lost a fumble on the first play on the other. They couldn’t convert a fourth-and-1 late in the second quarter from the Ravens 20 down 17-0. Sanders dropped a pass in the end zone two plays before the drive stalled.
Fulgham couldn’t hang onto a “Hail Mary” at the end of the first half but Wentz took a late hit that gave the Eagles one more play. No matter, Jake Elliott missed a 51-yard field goal.
“When you’re playing good football teams, you can’t make mistakes,” Pederson said.
The near-comeback gave Philadelphia reason for encouragement heading into a short week.
“The resilience of this team is something you can’t question,” Wentz said. “There’s a lot of good we can learn from and the effort and fight is something I’m proud of.”