Two years ago, quarterback Andrew Luck shocked football fans as he announced his retirement from the Indianapolis Colts. Luck was only twenty-nine years old, but had faced multiple injuries throughout his career, including a lacerated kidney and a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Following his retirement, the Colts have had to rely on Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers to lead the offense. Now, after acquiring Carson Wentz from the Eagles, and developing young talent acquired through the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts have rebuilt their quarterback position.
Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts acquired Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles. As it stands, the Colts get Wentz for a 2022 NFL Draft second round draft pick. However, if Wentz plays 75% of the snaps for Indianapolis, or if he plays 70% and the Colts make the Playoffs, that pick is upgraded to a first round pick.
More importantly, the move reunites Wentz with Frank Reich, who was his offensive coordinator in Philadelphia in 2017. As you can see from the tweet below from the NFL, there are high expectations for the Colts offense with Wentz under center.
— NFL (@NFL) March 13, 2021
The Young Guns At Quarterback For The Indianapolis Colts
Aside from Carson Wentz, the Indianapolis Colts have two young quarterbacks on their roster – Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger.
Indianapolis selected Jacob Eason in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. As detailed here, I was very impressed with his arm strength and velocity. Eason began his collegiate career at the University of Georgia, but lost the starting QB job to Jake Fromm due to an injury. Eason found his way to the University of Washington in the transfer portal. In 2019, Eason posted 23 touchdowns, 3,132 passing yards, and an impressive 143.9 passer rating. I was unsure of how the Colts would use Eason, but I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t play last season. In fact, I thought that Indianapolis might try to trade Eason for an improved return. However, Jacob Eason has performed well enough to earn the backup QB position.
Finally, we have Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger impressed the Colts front office enough to have his name called in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. I thought that Ehlinger might get Texas over the hump and make a push in the Big 12, but that never happened. Nonetheless, Sam Ehlinger has always put up solid numbers in the stat line.
This preseason, Sam Ehlinger has been the most impressive rookie. However, a knee injury has put a damper o his performance, and will keep him out of action for the next month or so. Despite this, Ehlinger likely has done enough to earn a roster spot. Chances are that he’ll be placed on injured reserve, but could be designated for return later in the season.
Looking Ahead To This Season
Regardless of how this season ends, one thing is clear. The Indianapolis Colts have rebuilt the quarterback position the right way. They’ve made smart and sound decisions in finding and coaching up young developmental talent. Furthermore, Indianapolis acquired Carson Wentz, but did so with an incentive-laden trade.