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INDIANAPOLIS – The panic of the worst start for the franchise in a decade had the Colts thinking short-term, rather than long-term, with their new quarterback. 

For all the talk Jim Irsay had in training camp about the big-picture investment in trading for Carson Wentz, and not wanting the quarterback on the field unless he was 100 percent, and couldn’t risk further injury, the Colts went well against those words on Sunday.

The result was a loss on the scoreboard to the Titans, and an oft-injured quarterback getting hit another 10 times, even though the Colts offense had no serious threat of a vertical passing game.

Wentz has now been hit an astonishing 31 times through three weeks.

The Colts decided on Sunday morning that Wentz would start against the Titans.

This was not the plan the Colts had at the start of last week, with Wentz’s two sprained ankles forcing him to miss the first two practices of the week, and the team using a different quarterback at the first walk-through of the week.

Even though Wentz battled to play at 70-80 percent on Sunday, according to Reich, that seemed rather generous in watching No. 2 manuever on the pocket.

Wentz showed zero desire to scramble against the Titans, which is a critical part to his game being at the level it needs to be.

Stationary in the pocket on Sunday, Wentz completed just 51 percent of his passes and had a yards per attempt number of 5.2

Those numbers are some of the worst of Wentz’s career and the fault for that falls at the feet of the Colts decision makers for putting Wentz into such a no-win situation.

It’s zero knock on Wentz.

Of course, he’s going to want to play and gut it out for his new teammates. Wentz said after the game that he can’t recall another game in which an injury has limited him so much.

But Reich and the staff should have stepped in and kept their quarterback out on Sunday.

They know Wentz’s game is not some ‘3-step drop quarterback’ who is going to feast on quick rhythm throws.

Trying to get Wentz to play more like a statue is putting the quarterback into a position that is not going to lead to winning results.

Adding another 10 hits to Wentz’s body is not going to help him stay healthy through a 17-game season.

Playing Wentz also totally limited a Colts offense that had zero threat of pushing the ball down the field, or having a quarterback that could create plays off-script.

What the Colts gave Wentz on Sunday was a plus-three turnover margin, a stat that leads to teams winning more than 90 percent of their games when having such an edge.

The Indy run game was also the best its been in 2021, with Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines combining for more than 5.5 yards per carry (89 yards on 16 carries).

But even with those things, the offense was just too limited with a gimpy Wentz having to show his toughness once again.

Now, the Colts are sitting at 0-3, with a battered Wentz being hit at least 10 times in all three games this season.

Resting Wentz wouldn’t have likely changed the Colts’ record right now, but it would have allowed their franchise QB to get healthier, avoid risking another injury and hopefully play closer to 100 percent in the coming weeks.

In a week in which Wentz reportedly woke up nightly with ‘throbbing pain,’ the Colts decided to play him, showing zero faith in the young Jacob Eason, and the result was what you thought it would be.

The month of October isn’t even here, and the Colts are winless with an injury-riddled quarterback hurt yet again.