Josh McCown Played Through Torn Hamstring

Ed Kracz

Josh McCown looked slow, looked like he was having difficulty stepping into his throws last Sunday when he had to enter the Eagles’ playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks after Carson Wentz left with a concussion.

The assumption was, well, he’s 40.

That wasn’t the case. Yes, McCown is 40, but he tore a hamstring clean off the bone in the second quarter, per a report by ESPN.

It’s fitting that the Eagles season has been over for nearly a week, yet injury news continues to leak out. It’s been that kind of year, with the team having to put 13 players on Injured Reserve and others who weren't on IR but were unable to play down the stretch.

McCown was able to move the Eagles up and down the field but struggled the closer the offense got to the end zone and had to settle for three field goals in a 17-9, season-ending loss.

The backup quarterback went on The ThomaHawk Show podcast with Joe Thomas as part of their Players Thursday programming and McCown couldn’t have been more jovial despite the prospect of having to undergo surgery on Tuesday.

“I’m going to head over to Lincoln Financial Field to see if I can find my hamstring in the middle of field,” McCown said on the show. “It’s still over there I think or halfway down my leg. I’m feeling all right all things considered. Football and 40, it doesn’t blend as well as you might think.”

McCown said the injury happened when he tried to make a throw.

“Something sharp bit me back there and as far as I could tell there were no dogs on the field,” McCown told Thomas and Hawkins. “I was like, whew, that never happened to me, never had a soft tissue injury. I never moved fast enough to pull a hamstring. In my mind I was like, this is 40 right here. I blew it not doing the TB12 (Tom Brady) method. I was like, ‘Oh man, so I think maybe I popped one of the tendons off.”

McCown came into the locker room at halftime and talked to the doctors.

“I was the only quarterback left, so we kept it rolling,” said McCown. “

In third quarter McCown said he felt something else pop, but “rocked it out, made it work.”

He added that, “when you start to try to move, there’s no strength or power. It was like life really settling in and hitting me in the face right there in the middle of the stadium.”

Had McCown chosen to take a seat, the Eagles would have turned to emergency quarterback Greg Ward, who played the position at the University of Houston. Of course, Ward was also the team’s best receiver in the game, so that would have made things even more interesting.

Nate Sudfeld was unavailable since he was ruled inactive prior to the game.

McCown finished 18-for-24 with 174 yards passing but was sacked six times. Ward had three catches for 24 yards.

As for his future, McCown didn’t offer up anything more to Thomas and Hawkins than he did when he met the media following the game.

The first thing he will have to do is rehab after surgery, a process that is expected to take about six months. Then, he said, he will talk to his family about what decision is in everybody’s best interests.

McCown has two high school-aged sons who are involved with football and basketball in the Charlotte, N.C., area, so he could choose to remain with them. Otherwise, he could consider going into coaching, with an eye toward someday following the path of other backup quarterbacks such as Doug Pederson and Frank Reich and becoming a head coach. 

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

What a tremendous effort by the 40 year old. I knew McCown wasn't right, but didn't know it was this extreme. Hope for a fast recovery and this performance was outright inspiring.