INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts failing to support Carson Wentz in the pass protection department means their starting quarterback’s status is up in the air for a massive Week 3 contest.
Frank Reich confirmed on Monday that Wentz has sprains in both of the quarterback’s ankles.
When asked if Wentz would play this Sunday, Reich said he was awaiting more information coming at a later medical meeting on Monday, involving Chris Ballard, to map out a plan for this week.
“We’ll have to see how it goes,” Reich says on Wentz’s status.
The left ankle sprain for Wentz occurred early in Sunday’s loss to the Rams, with the right ankle injury being the one that knocked the QB out for good, near the mid-way point of the 4th quarter.
Seeing Wentz dealing with a pair of ankle sprains isn’t too surprising considering he’s been hit 21 times in 2 games played this season.
With no stability in that injured right ankle, Wentz watched Jacob Eason quarterback the Colts for the final two drives on Sunday. Eason went 2-of-5 with an interception in his first ever NFL action.
Until Wentz is deemed healthy enough to return, Eason is now back in the QB1 a spot he held/or shared, for a huge chunk of the offseason. With Sam Ehlinger (knee) still on injured reserve and Brett Hundley on the practice squad, Eason is this team’s starting QB until Wentz returns.
That could mean Eason under center for an extremely critical contest with the Titans in Nashville in Week Three. Following Sunday’s first AFC South game of the year, the Colts will then have road matchups in Miami and Baltimore.
“If Jacob has to play, then Jacob will be ready,” Reich said on Monday. “I think Jacob has been doing a really good job. He’s been really dialed in. Scott Milanovich, our quarterbacks coach, has really spent a lot of time with Jacob all through training camp, and even in these first couple weeks preparing Jacob just like he’s playing. If called upon, I think Jacob will do a nice job.
“The situation he got thrown into the other day is as tough as it gets. I can tell you that from experience. He’ll be ready if he has to be.”
Reich says the biggest leap from Eason, after ample starting reps in camp, comes in his ability to identify defensive fronts (when needed to make run checks) and coverages, along with making progressions.
Considering all the injuries that Wentz has dealt with in his football career, the fact that he couldn’t return on Sunday tells some of the story on this severity.
It should be noted that Wentz has missed time in his football career due to a variety of injuries (ACL, ribs, back, wrist, concussion, foot and, now, ankle).
Multiple ankle sprains are something the Colts aren’t completely foreign to.
T.Y. Hilton played through a high and low sprain on the same ankle in 2018.
Implications on Wentz’s status extends past just the win/loss record of the Colts 2021. His play time this season directly impacts what draft pick the Colts will send to the Eagles next spring (a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75 percent of the season, or 70 percent of the season and the Colts make the playoffs; and a second-round pick if he doesn’t).
On Monday, Reich wasn’t in the sharing mood when it came to really anything on the injury front. Typically, Reich offers some updates on guys who have missed time, particularly dating back to last week, but not on this Monday.
Will Braden Smith practice this week?
An update on Parris Campbell after the wide receiver appeared to get hurt in Friday’s practice and then missed Sunday’s game?
It was a bunch of non-answers from the Colts head coach.
Reich knows full well the magnitude of what Sunday’s first divisional matchup means to his 0-2 football team.
Mum was the word for Reich on Monday, as the margin for error has already shrunk for the Colts..
“There are competitive advantages and disadvantages to information and misinformation,” Reich says. “I think I’ve been very fair with you guys for four years and I hope everybody on this call would attest to that. When I think there’s information that I give you that’s appropriate, I give it to you. But when I don’t have the information or there’s reason not to give something that I think, it doesn’t make sense to give out information before it needs to be given out at certain times.
“Sprained ankles, there are degrees, somewhere from 1 to 100. I know this, I know Carson has a very high threshold for pain. Naturally, when you have a guy who is a pocket passer, it affects his game a little bit less than a guy who is a mobile quarterback. That’s not rocket science.
“My history with Carson is that he’s a pretty fast-healer and that he’s tough, and if there’s any chance he can play with these ankle sprains then he’ll play. Obviously, it’s an incredibly big game. We are not holding back anything. This is a big game. If he can play, he’ll play.”
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