Here we go again Colts fans, another season and another set of injury problems. An all too familiar problem has yet again reared its ugly head in Indianapolis, an injury to a quarterback.
Yes, this time it is the main man himself, Carson Wentz. News from the club revealed that he is suffering from a foot injury which requires surgery. This is not the news Colts fans would want to hear in the build up to the new season, especially as it is likely that recovery time could be anything from 5-12 weeks.
He’ll have no pre-season for sure and even if it takes only five weeks to recover, it is likely he still will not be available for the season opener. For Indy, a season that was already filled with such promise, has already taken a massive hit.
Whether you love Wentz or hate him, the team is his. Everything is designed for Wentz to start under centre. That missing piece from the Colts puzzle has yet again gone missing. Ironically, Wentz was training well before the injury, moving well and dropping 40-yard bombs to the receivers he had already put time into working with before camp. It just seems to be a typical thing for the Colts, just as things tend to get going in the right direction an injury gets in the way.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if he was to announce his retirement just before week 1, that’s kind of how this situation feels at the moment.
Second big injury
Just to rub salt in the Indianapolis wound, another injury to a key player has occurred too. This time it is to Guard Quenton ‘Big Q’ Nelson. ‘Big Q’ has played every game for the Colts in the last three seasons and the offensive line will not be same without him. He is also out with a very similar foot injury to Wentz, a foot injury that also requires surgery and recovery time of five to 12 weeks. A spooky coincidence, but if there is a brightside to the situation, at least they both could be back at roughly the same time.
The problem is, if recovery isn’t that good, it could mean they both come back by week 6 against the Texans. This could be a battle to stay off the bottom of the division by this point, considering how tough the opening games are going to be for the Colts. They might have to navigate their way through games against the Seahawks, Rams, Titans, Dolphins and Ravens without these key assets. This start is going to prove tough even if they are back in time.
There is some light at the end of this injury prone tunnel. The Wentz injury means it is second year quarterback Jacob Eason’s time to step up. Having had a season behind Rivers and Brissett and having had this limited time with Wentz, Eason has been in some decent QB company. He also has the experience of recently signed journeyman Brett Hundley sitting behind him, ready to help and challenge him. Coach Reich said about Eason, “It is his to lose. He’s still gotta earn it but he is in the driving seat”. That’s fairly positive from the coach and depending how he keeps performing through the off-season, it looks like he will be keeping the seat warm for Wentz.
Relying on the run
Although it seems like it sometimes, it isn’t always about the quarterback. Eason has a decent team around him for support. The Colts last season showed they know how to run the ball, relying on first year back Jonathan Taylor after Marlon Mack got a season ending injury in the first game of the campaign. Running the ball would still been a major focal point of the Colts offence even if Wentz would have been healthy.
With Taylor putting up good numbers last year, he will want to be playing to smash those this season. Coupled with the return of Mack, the pair are going to be a big one-two punch against opposing defences. Mack will be like having a new player on the roster after such a long absence.
Having a great running back goes along way for a team and the Colts have two.
Without the first choice QB, they could be relied upon heavily to carry the load for the offence. Just think, if the Titans hadn’t had Derrick Henry over the last couple of years they probably would have been scrapping with the Jags for fourth spot in the division.
It goes without saying this situation causes massive problems for preparing for the season, especially a season where the Colts have been at their most complete for years.
The Colts have massive potential this season to go a bit deeper into the playoffs. Yes, it is a tougher schedule on paper, but Indy is more than capable of overcoming these opponents. You have to beat the best to be the best and some of the better teams in the league are waiting for them. It is now down to the rest of the team to prove they are good enough to compete.