Feb 25, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard speaks to the media during the 2020 NFL Combine in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Colts GM does not commit to Carson Wentz for 2022

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard on Thursday said he does not regret acquiring Carson Wentz, however he appeared to stop considerably short of committing to the quarterback for the 2022 season.

“When we made the decision to make a move on Carson, at the time of the decision, we felt good about it,” Ballard said at the season-ending press conference. “And I still don’t regret the decision at the time. … I won’t make a comment on who’s going to be here next year and who’s not going to be here next year.”

Wentz, 29, reunited with Frank Reich when he joined the Colts at the start of the league year in March. Indianapolis, in turn, parted ways with a first- and third-round pick in the deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wentz became the latest starter in a rapidly spinning quarterback carousel that has included Andrew Luck (retired), Jacoby Brissett (Miami Dolphins) and Philip Rivers (retired). Rivers played one season with the Colts, leading the team to the playoffs in 2020 before ending his career.

Ballard referenced the team’s ever-changing quarterback situation on Thursday.

“I’d like to quit band-aiding it,” Ballard said. “I’d like for Carson to be the long-term answer or for somebody to be here for the next 10 years. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.”

Reich didn’t give Wentz much of a vote of confidence on Monday when asked if the latter would be the starting quarterback next season.

“Next year’s roster will be next year’s roster. I don’t want to open it up about one player and then start talking about all of them,” Reich said. “… We’ll take it piece by piece. We’ll evaluate (Wentz’s) play. We’ll evaluate how we’re coaching him, how I’m coaching him, with each position in the pass game. Take it apart piece by piece, and then put it back together. … We’ve got to be better in the passing game. It was definitely below our standards, and there’s multiple reasons for that. We have to take ownership of that as coaches and players.”

Wentz threw for 3,563 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 17 games this season. The Colts, however, lost their final two games of the season, including a disastrous 26-11 setback to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Colts owner Jim Irsay released a statement Wednesday in which he apologized to the fans for the team’s finish to the season.

“We ended our season in perhaps the worst way possible and missed our chance to compete for history,” Irsay said in the statement.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) celebrates his touchdown pass by doing the TY Hilton celebration in the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Colts QB Carson Wentz cleared to start Sunday

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz will start Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders after successfully clearing the COVID-19 testing protocol.

The team activated the unvaccinated signal-caller from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, coach Frank Reich confirmed that Wentz had been cleared by medical professionals to lead the Colts (9-6) against the visiting Raiders (8-7).

Wentz, who turned 29 on Thursday, has thrown for 3,230 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 15 games this season.

Under previous protocol, Wentz would have been forced to sit out 10 days from the date of his positive test last week. On Tuesday, the NFL and NFLPA released new guidelines that following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation for shorter isolation periods (five days).

–Field Level Media

Dec 25, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) drops back to pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Colts QB Carson Wentz placed on reserve/COVID-19 list

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday.

Wentz, who said he is unvaccinated, will have to sit out for the Colts (9-6) on Sunday against the visiting Las Vegas Raiders (8-7). He would be required to miss the next 10 days if he tested positive for the virus, or a minimum of five if he’s deemed only a close contact.

“We have placed QB Carson Wentz on the Reserve/COVID-19 list,” the Colts confirmed in a noontime statement, without offering further details of the move.

Sam Ehlinger is in line for the starting nod on Sunday if Wentz is unable to play. Ehlinger, 23, has yet to throw a pass in three games this season since being selected by Indianapolis in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

“You’ve always got a plan, just like any other position,” Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said Tuesday. “We have that separate call sheet ready to go. … (Sam is) ready to go.”

Brady said Ehlinger doesn’t have Wentz’s arm strength and might “run around a little bit more” because of his scrambling ability.

The Colts, who have won three in a row, reside one game behind the Tennessee Titans (10-5) for first place in the AFC South. The Titans, however, have swept the season series.

Indianapolis sits in fifth place in the AFC, albeit tied with three other teams at 9-6.

Wentz, 28, has thrown for 3,230 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 15 games this season. By comparison, he was tied for the NFL league lead with 15 picks in 2020.

Wentz has thrown for 20,041 yards with 138 touchdowns and 56 picks in 83 career games with the Philadelphia Eagles and Colts. He was selected by the Eagles with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Nov 4, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) looks on at the line of scrimmage in the second quarter against the New York Jets  at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Colts QB Carson Wentz won’t miss game for daughter’s birth

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz said he’s playing Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, even if that means missing the birth of his second child.

His wife, Madison, is due to give birth any day. He announced on Instagram in July that they are expecting another girl.

“I could get a call at any time,” Wentz said, per The Athletic. And if that call comes in pregame warmups, his plans won’t change apparently.

“I’m playing,” Wentz said.

Wentz said he and Madison talked it over and she is in agreement with the decision. The game is in Indianapolis.

The couple married in 2018 and had their first child, daughter Hadley Jayne, in April 2020.

Wentz, 28, is in his first season with the Colts and is coming off his best game. Indianapolis beat the New York Jets 45-30 in Week 9, and he completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 272 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Sunday’s game is key for the Colts (4-5) as they attempt to stay in the AFC playoff race. The Jaguars (2-6) are coming off an upset victory against the Buffalo Bills.

–Field Level Media

28. Jets (31): Count us among among those who owe QB Mike White an apology after assessing him among the league's worst backups. The question now is: How long will he remain among the league's starters?Syndication The Record

Mike White, Jets look for encore vs. Colts

Mike White woke up as a relative unknown on Sunday but he’ll be soaking up the national spotlight four nights later when the New York Jets visit the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night.

The 26-year-old White became an instant cult hero when he started in place of an injured Zach Wilson. He completed 37 of 45 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns during a 34-31 home win over the Cincinnati Bengals in his first career NFL start.

White tossed the decisive 13-yard scoring pass to tight end Tyler Kroft and he joined Cam Newton (422 yards in 2011 for the Carolina Panthers) as the only quarterbacks to top 400 yards in their first career starts.

He even received one of the ultimate New York compliments — a stadium full of fans chanting his name.

“At first, I kind of had to listen again,” White said with a smile. “Like, are they chanting my name?”

With Wilson (knee) still ailing, the Jets (2-5) are again calling on White to start against the Colts (3-5).

It’s even being floated that the fifth-round pick in 2018 by the Dallas Cowboys could remain the starter even after the return to health of Wilson, the 2021 No. 2 overall pick.

“That’s for you guys to talk about,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “I know exactly how we’ll operate. I know exactly what we’re looking for. If it’s something you want to play with and have fun with, I mean, it doesn’t surprise me.”

White split his college career at South Florida and Western Kentucky. He passed for more than 4,000 yards in each of his two campaigns with the Hilltoppers and the Cowboys took a flier on him.

Dallas released White among the final cuts prior to the 2019 season. The Jets later added him to the practice squad but he didn’t see the field until Wilson departed with a sprained right knee during a 54-13 loss to the New England Patriots on Oct. 24.

White did low-key preparation for the start against the Bengals and even caught a two-point conversion pass on a trick play.

“The only difference is that I got more reps at practice,” White said. “It felt normal, nothing out of the ordinary. I didn’t stay up watching film and put too much into my brain and get stressed out.”

The Colts are in must-win mode as they enter a two-game stretch of games against the lowly Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Indianapolis lost 34-31 in overtime to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Quarterback Carson Wentz threw one interception with less than two minutes left in regulation and another in overtime.

“I feel like I beat us with those turnovers,” Wentz said. “As a competitor and my hardest critic, you feel that weight and you let your guys down even though I have the utmost confidence in our defense and they did a great job stopping them, but they were already in field goal range.”

Wentz had been intercepted just once all season before the double dose of miscues. He has passed for 1,926 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The second-year duo of running back Jonathan Taylor and receiver Michael Pittman Jr. have been thriving for the Colts.

Taylor ranks second in the NFL with 649 rushing yards. Pittman leads Indianapolis with 45 receptions and 594 yards and is tied for the team lead with four scoring catches.

The vastly improved Pittman has already surpassed last season’s figures of 40 catches for 503 yards and one touchdown.

“I think it’s just familiarity with the offense, but I don’t think that I am a different player from last year,” Pittman said. “I think that there is more opportunity, but I mean, there’s not a big difference. I didn’t all of a sudden take a magic pill.”

Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton (concussion) will miss the game after being hurt against Tennessee. Star guard Quenton Nelson (toe) didn’t participate in Tuesday’s walkthrough but is expected to play Thursday.

New York offensive tackle George Fant (ankle) and receiver Corey Davis (hip) were among the players who didn’t practice. Fant was injured against the Bengals while Davis could miss his second straight game.

–Field Level Media

Carson Wentz hands off to running back Jonathan Taylor during second half action on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.Indianapolis Colts And Tennessee Titans At Nissan Stadium In Nashville Tenn Sunday Sept 16 2021 In Nfl Week 3

Seven starters miss practice for Colts, with Carson Wentz limited

Seven of the Indianapolis Colts’ 22 starters did not practice Thursday, three days out from their road contest at the Miami Dolphins.

Quarterback Carson Wentz, however, was able to practice on a limited basis for the second straight day as he deals with two sprained ankles.

Tight end Jack Doyle (back), All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson (ankle/knee) and right tackle Braden Smith (foot/thumb) missed practice for the second straight day on offense. Three more on defense have now missed two in a row: rookie defensive end Kwity Paye (hamstring), safety Khari Willis (ankle/groin) and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (ankle).

Right guard Mark Glowinski (knee) went from limited participation in Wednesday’s practice to being held out of Thursday’s, meaning there’s danger that Indianapolis could be down three of its starting offensive linemen come Sunday.

It wasn’t all dire news for the Colts. Left tackle Eric Fisher was back to full participation after a rest day Wednesday, and Pro Bowl linebacker Darius Leonard (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis. Running back Jonathan Taylor (knee) remained limited for the second straight day.

–Field Level Media

Detroit Lions linebacker Rashod Berry (45) tries to stop Indianapolis Colts quarterback Brett Hundley (3) during the second half of a preseason game at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

Colts elevate QB Brett Hundley to active roster

The Indianapolis Colts addressed their quarterback situation Saturday by elevating Brett Hundley from the practice squad to the active roster.

The move can be construed as insurance with fellow quarterback Carson Wentz nursing sprains in both ankles. Wentz, however, reportedly is expected to start Sunday as the Colts (0-2) visit the Tennessee Titans (1-1) in Nashville, Tenn.

Hundley reportedly took first-team reps at quarterback this week in place of second-year quarterback Jacob Eason. Wentz missed the first two practices before being a limited participant on Friday.

Wentz, 28, was injured during the Colts’ 27-24 setback to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. The second injury to his ankles forced Wentz to be a spectator during Indianapolis’ final two series of the game.

Hundley, 28, last played in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals in 2019. He has completed 199 of 337 passes for 1,902 yards with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 18 career games with the Green Bay Packers and Cardinals.

Hundley went 3-6 as a starter for the Packers in 2017 while Aaron Rodgers was sidelined with a broken collarbone.

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) runs the ball up the field during the second half of an Indianapolis Colts game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Rams won 27-24.

Colts QB Carson Wentz (ankles) returns to practice

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz answered two missed practices this week by participating in Friday’s session.

Wentz’s availability for the Week 3 trip to face the Tennessee Titans (1-1) is unclear, although head coach Frank Reich said the Colts typically use Friday practice as the measuring stick for gameday readiness.

The 28-year-old is nursing injuries to both his ankles sustained in the Colts’ 27-24 setback to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. The second injury forced Wentz to be a spectator during Indianapolis’ final two series of the game.

Journeyman Brett Hundley and second-year quarterback Jacob Eason are available should Wentz be unable to play on Sunday for the Colts (0-2).

Wentz has completed 45 of 69 passes for 498 yards with three touchdowns and one interception this season.

–Field Level Media