Carson Wentz Knocked Out of 1st Career Playoff Game Early with Dirty Helmet-to-Helmet Hit

Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz (11) is hit by Seattle Seahawks’ Jadeveon Clowney (90) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz exited in the first quarter of Sunday’s 17-9 wild-card loss against the Seattle Seahawks with a head injury and did not return.

He was initially ruled questionable but early in the third quarter the Eagles said he was out.

Wentz was hit in the helmet and upper back by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on the Eagles’ second possession of the game. The force of Clowney’s hit drove Wentz into the ground. He appeared to buckle slightly as he rose to his feet but stayed in the game for another series.

“I was just rushing the passer. It was a bang-bang play. I didn’t intentionally try to hurt nobody. I just play this game with a lot of enthusiasm and effort,” Clowney told ESPN’s Josina Anderson after the game. “It was just a bang-bang play. I hope he’s OK and that everything will be OK with him.”

Referee Shawn Smith told a designated pool reporter after the game that the helmet-to-helmet contact on the play was incidental.

“[Wentz] was a runner and he did not give himself up,” Smith said. “We saw incidental helmet contact, and in our judgment, we didn’t rule that to be a foul.”

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