The Indianapolis Colts thought their season would be over before it began when the diagnosis for quarterback Carson Wentz came in. Their new quarterback underwent surgery on his foot near the beginning of August, with reports saying the recovery could take anywhere from five to 12 weeks.
The good news for the Colts, however, is that Wentz seems to be on the lower end of that timetable. The former Philadelphia Eagle is back at practice, which bodes well for him starting Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks.
But should Wentz suffer a setback or simply not be ready to play, one of Indy’s possible replacement quarterbacks won’t be available to replace him.
Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Sam Ehlinger is out, leaving Jacob Eason as the clear number two
The battle for the number two job has now been settled. Rookie QB Sam Ehlinger sprained his knee, reportedly sidelining him for up to six weeks.
The Texas product, who Indianapolis selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, suffered the injury in his final preseason game, a 27-17 win over the Detroit Lions. Ehlinger finished exhibition play going 11-for-16 with 133 passing yards and a pair of interceptions.
With Ehlinger on the shelf, Jacob Eason becomes the clear choice for the backup spot. The second-year QB didn’t appear in a game last season but has been decent in the preseason, going 26-for-41 for 206 yards.
Would Eason be ready to go if needed?
Assuming he’s healthy, Eason would be the starting quarterback Week 1 if Wentz is not able to go. But he feels prepared if that happens.
“It’s good for me to get in there and get that exposure, get in and out of the huddle,” Eason told The Athletic. “It’s definitely very different from last year and it happened quick. But I’m very fortunate to be getting these reps right now.”
The Colts used a fourth-round pick on Eason in 2020, viewing him as a potential replacement for the veteran newcomer Philip Rivers. So even if Colts fans are weary, Indy’s front office appears to think highly of him.
Assuming all goes well, Carson Wentz will be starting Week 1
As unfortunate as the Ehlinger injury is, Wentz being back at practice is a huge sigh of relief for the organization and its fans.
The 2016 second overall pick has a lot to prove following a miserable season in Philadelphia. Wentz threw 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions, while also absorbing 50 sacks, before mercifully being benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts. However, he’ll be reuniting with head coach Frank Reich, who served as Philly’s offensive coordinator for Wentz’s first two years in the league.
It’s a mystery when, or if, the Colts will announce Wentz is ready to play. But with one less option to fall back on, there is a little more pressure on Wentz to get healthy and Eason to be ready.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.