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INDIANAPOLISStop me if you heard this before, the Colts have an injury question with their starting quarterback not even a week into training camp.

Carson Wentz is going to miss some time with a foot injury.

The Colts currently have three quarterbacks on the roster, none who have ever thrown a pass in an NFL game (preseason or regular season), let alone put on a jersey for an NFL game. That’s Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger and Jalen Morton.

So, the need is there to pursue a veteran quarterback.

-That could be a guy needed as an emergency situation if Wentz’s foot injury becomes more serious.

-It could be a guy who might be the backup to Jacob Eason, if Wentz were to miss actual regular season time.

-If the Colts need a starter due to Wentz’s potential absence, this guy could be the pick, given more experience.

One thing to note on this Wentz situation is the impact of his playing time in 2021, influencing next year’s draft for the Colts and Eagles.

Remember, the trade for Wentz had a condition. If Wentz plays at least 75 percent of the Colts offensive snaps this season or he plays 70 percent of the snaps and the Colts reach the playoffs, then Indy would send their 2021 first rounder to Philadelphia. If not, the Colts would send their 2022 second rounder to Philly.

With that, here’s a look at potential quarterback options for the Colts, as they await the return of Wentz:

 

Free Agent Options

Matt Barkley (Age: 30, 7 career starts): Barkley is on the streets after being in Buffalo the last three years. For his career, Barkley has completed 58.4 percent of his passes, thrown 11 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Barkley and Frank Reich just missed crossing paths in Philadelphia. Outside of starting 6 games for the Bears in 2016, Barkley has only started one other game (2018) since being drafted in the 4th round back in 2013.

Blake Bortles (Age: 29, 73 career starts): Freshly waived by the Packers, Bortles is one of the more experienced guys available. He started 73 games for the Jaguars from 2014-18. Bortles has history with current Colts quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich. The two were together for two seasons (2017-18) as QB/position coach with the Jaguars.

Ryan Finley (Age: 26, 4 career starts): Of this group, it’s Finley with the most recent playing time. He’s started 4 games over the last two years for the Bengals. Finley has completed 48.7 percent of his passes and is 1-3 as a starter. Finley was a 4th round pick out of North Carolina State in 2019.

Robert Griffin III (Age: 31, 42 career starts): RGIII is on the open market, having started 2 games in the last 4 years. There’s a dual-threat element to RGIII’s game that would keep the offense somewhat unpredictable. In his lone start last season, RGIII went 8-of-14 for 42 yards and 2 interceptions. Would the 2012 draft come full circle with such a signing? RGIII did play in a very unique offense with Baltimore, so that translating to what is run in Indianapolis might be a big hurdle.

Sean Mannion (Age: 29, 2 career starts): A career backup, Mannion has had stops with the Rams and Vikings. Mannion has thrown 74 passes in his career, completing 60.8 percent of those (0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions). The Rams took Mannion in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

-Matt Moore (Age: 36, 32 career starts): Moore has come out of retirement before, but he is the oldest guy on this list. Moore has made 32 career starts, completing 60.1 percent of his passes, tossing 49 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. This would be peak ‘veteran QB’ option in wanting someone in such a young room to continue to help grow the Colts younger signal callers.

 

Other Options

-Nick Foles (Age: 32, 55 career starts): Looking for someone Frank Reich loves as much as Carson Wentz, here’s your guy. Currently, Foles is in Chicago where Andy Dalton and Justin Fields are also on the roster. While Foles and Reich had some magic in that 2017 Super Bowl run with the Eagles, there’s a reason why Foles is 28-27 as a starter, playing for 5 different NFL teams. Foles is under contract for the next two seasons, with a cap hit of $6.6 million for 2021 and $10.6 million for 2022.

Marcus Mariota (Age: 28, 61 career starts): The Raiders re-signed Mariota on a 1-year deal for $1.7 million (cap hit of $3.5 million) this offseason. Mariota made some nice throws in his one start last year for the Raiders. Could the Colts get Mariota for a late-round pick?

-Gardner Minshew (Age: 25, 20 career starts): This is another connection to Milanovich (position coach for Minshew in 2019). Minshew had quite a lot of promise in 2019 before going 1-7 as a starter in 2020. With Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville, couldn’t the Colts get Minshew, a former 6th round pick, for something pretty cheap?

-Denver QB Watch: You’ve got a QB battle to watch in Denver. Drew Lock vs. Teddy Bridgewater. Would the Broncos want to retain both after the competition plays out? Are the Colts content with waiting until the end of August to know that?

-New England QB Watch: The Patriots have names like Brian Hoyer, Mac Jones, Cam Newton and Jarret Stidham all on the roster. Would the Colts look back into Hoyer, if the Patriots cut him (again)? What about Newton? Again, the dilemma with watching other QB situations is you are at that team’s mercy as to when a player could be available.