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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts musical chairs at the quarterback position is once again playing another song.

And this time, it’s Nick Foles in the starting chair, with Matt Ryan being benched for a second time this season.

Foles will becomes the Colts third starting quarterback of the season when he leads the first-team offense on Monday Night Football against the Chargers.

As Foles said on Wednesday, this season has unfolded in a way he could have never imagined upon signing here to be Matt Ryan’s backup and reunited with Frank Reich.

This is how Foles season has gone (9 times as the backup, 5 times as the inactive third quarterback): Week 1: Backup, did not play; Week 2: two fourth-quarter snaps in relief of Matt Ryan; Week 3: Backup, did not play; Week 4: Backup, did not play; Week 5: Backup, did not play; Week 6: Inactive, 3rd quarterback; Week 7: Inactive, 3rd quarterback, Week 8: Backup, did not play; Week 9: Backup, did not play; Week 10: Inactive; Week 11: Inactive; Week 12: Inactive; Week 13: Backup, did not play; Week 14: Backup, did not play.

When Ryan was benched for the first time following Week 9, with Jim Irsay playing a massive role in that decision, Foles was bypassed for the starting job by Sam Ehlinger.

This time around, with Jeff Saturday now as head coach, the Colts are giving Foles a chance, perhaps for the final 3 games. Saturday did not say who the backup will be on Monday night (Ryan or Ehlinger). For what it’s worth, Ehlinger took the second-team reps in front of the media at Wednesday’s practice.

Benching Ryan is a very smart move financially. Ryan already has $12 million guaranteed for the 2023 season. He also has two separate bonuses of $10 and $7 million due in March, which would have been guaranteed had Ryan got hurt and was unable to pass a physical next offseason.

Making sure the Colts don’t owe Ryan that substantial of an amount for 2023 is important for a team needing to use free agency to fill some holes outside of quarterback.

Outside of the obvious news in the short-term of this move, you have to wonder if we’ve seen the 37-year-old Ryan throw his last pass in Indy? Or perhaps his last pass in the NFL?

Wednesday’s practice marked the first time this season Foles has taken starting reps in practice + throwing to the team’s starting pass catchers.

Saturday said the Colts playbook will change very little, if at all, with Foles under center, but the offense must take more chances down the field.

“We have to get teams out of playing their safeties at 7 yards,” Saturday said on Wednesday. Saturday stressed the Colts were not making enough plays with Ryan, which doesn’t even point out the quarterback also leads the NFL in both interceptions and fumbles this season.

With Ryan, the Colts weren’t anywhere close to a functional offense, inept at challenging any defense down the field.

The hope with Foles is the Colts will at least be able to attempt a few more balls vertically, and relieve some of the stress near the line of scrimmage at every snap.

Expecting the offense to have some massive turnaround though is still unlikely.

Foles, 33, is under contract through 2023.

He has 56 career starts, with his last one coming in Week 16 last year in Chicago.

While going back to Ehlinger for an extended evaluation on the second-year pro would make the most sense long-term, Saturday is not in the business for caring that. He’s trying to win now and improve his candidacy to be the long-term coach of the Colts.

Ironically, Foles is extremely close with Reich, with their relationship extending off the field, both having a deep religious connection.

For a Colts franchise that has had quarterback stability fan bases dream of over the past 25 years, 2022 has been a nightmare of a year at the most important position in sports.

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