Eagles quarterback Josh McCown really gave it his all in his first career playoff game.
The 40-year-old journeyman was pressed into action when starter Carson Wentz went down with a concussion. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 174 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, as Philadelphia lost 17–9.
The game was an emotional one for McCown, who has compiled a 23–53 record as a starter with eight teams over 15 seasons but had never before played in the postseason. Only once before (in 2008, when he backed up Jake Delhomme for the Panthers) did one of McCown’s teams even qualify for the playoffs.
After the game, McCown was visibly emotional, telling reporters he “left it all out there.” McCown, it turns out, was also playing through significant physical pain.
McCown told his former teammates Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins on their “Thomahawk” podcast that he tore his hamstring at some point in the first half of the game and injured himself even worse later in the game.
“I made a throw and something sharp bit me back there, and as far as I could tell there were no dogs on the field,” McCown quipped. “That’s never really happened to me. I’ve never had any soft tissue injuries. I never really moved fast enough to pull a hamstring. In my mind, I was like, ‘This is 40.’ I blew it not doing the TB12 method.”
McCown said he had the leg looked at by the team medical staff during halftime but with Wentz already ruled out for the game with a brain injury he decided to gut it out.
“I talked to the docs, looked around, realized I was the only quarterback left, so we kept it rolling,” he continued. “In the third quarter, I felt something else pop again. So early in the third I was working on a little bit of a torn hamstring.”
McCown will have surgery to repair the injured muscle next week, ESPN’s Tim McManus reports.
Despite the injury, McCown did enough to ensure his team had a chance to tie the time in the final minutes. With two minutes left in the game, after a pass interference penalty by Seahawks cornerback Tre Flowers set the Eagles up in the red zone, Philadelphia faced a fourth-and-7 from the 10-yard line. With his receivers all covered, McCown tried to scramble for the first down but was tackled from behind by Jadeveon Clowney. NBC announcer Cris Collinsworth said the 40-year-old QB just doesn’t run like he used to. That’s true, of course, but now we know that McCown was also dealing with an injury.