INDIANAPOLIS – Carson Wentz is going to have much more on-field preparation this week than he did leading into last week’s loss to the Titans.
It’s the Colts (0-3) and Dolphins (1-2) in Week 4, with Jacoby Brissett seeing his former team.
What did we learn about the Colts on Wednesday?
- We are looking at the first missed game of Quenton Nelson’s career this Sunday. Frank Reich said on Wednesday that the Colts are ‘not optimistic’ that Nelson’s sprained ankle from last week will heal enough to play against the Dolphins. Nelson has started all 54 games of his career, the second longest active streak of any NFL offensive lineman. With Nelson likely out, look for Chris Reed (14 starts for Carolina last year) to be the left guard. Reed had a nice camp and held his own on Sunday when Nelson left in the first half.
- Carson Wentz practiced limited on Wednesday, a definite step forward from his on-field work last week. Wentz didn’t get on the practice field last week until Friday. Despite Wentz aggravating his ankle injury late in Sunday’s loss to the Titans, the Colts are planning to have their quarterback participate in all 3 practices this week. Wentz said he feels “way better” on this Wednesday than he did this time last week.
- The ‘experience’ of Brett Hundley (and the lack of confidence in Jacob Eason) will have him as the backup quarterback for a second straight week. Frank Reich confirmed on Wednesday that Hundley will be QB No. 2 this Sunday. On the backup front, rookie QB-Sam Ehlinger (knee) practiced Wednesday for the first time in the regular season. Ehlinger has been on injured reserve since spraining his ACL in the preseason finale. The Colts have up to 21 days to either bring Ehlinger onto the 53-man roster/practice squad, or keep him on IR. Although the Colts have preached ‘experience as the reason Hundley is ahead of Eason right now, this staff loves Ehlinger and how he carries himself. It’ll be interesting to watch how Ehlinger’s return impacts the situation behind Wentz.
- A lot has been made of Hundley’s experience in the NFL. He’s thrown 11 passes in the past 4 seasons. The vast majority of Hundley’s playing time in the NFL came in 2017, when he started 9 games for the Packers. Hundley went 3-6 in those 9 starts. He had 5 games of fewer than 175 yards passing in those starts, with 2 games of less than 100 passing yards.
- In looking back at Sunday’s film, Frank Reich believes the mobility that Carson Wentz had on Sunday is enough to play winning football. “I think we can win football games like that,” Reich said of Wentz’s mobility. Reich added that he thinks Wentz will look better and more mobile moving forward.
- Braden Smith (sprained foot, thumb) did not practice on Wednesday, after missing the last two games. Frank Reich has not elaborated on the severity of Smith’s injury. If Smith doesn’t get on the practice field Thursday, you have to think it’ll be Julie’n Davenport or Matt Pryor again at right tackle. Davenport started for Smith on Sunday, but Pryor subbed in for 17 snaps at RT. So, the Colts could be looking at 2 starting offensive linemen not playing this week. They’ve had 1 OL starter (Eric Fisher in Week 1, Braden Smith in Week 2 and Week 3) miss each of the first three games.
- The Colts made the following roster move on Wednesday: CB-T.J. Carrie going to injured reserve and bumping up CB-Anthony Chelsey from the practice squad. Carrie, 31, has battled injuries this year, after ending the 2020 season as the team’s 3rd cornerback. With Carrie going to IR, he must miss at least three games.
- Frank Reich is looking to avoid a 4-game losing streak on Sunday. A 4-game losing streak has hit the Colts twice under Reich (in 2018 and 2019).
- The Colts will have two more practices this week (Thursday and Friday) before a Saturday walk-through ahead of another road trip on Sunday in a 1:00 PM kickoff in Miami.
–Did Not Practice: OT-Braden Smith (foot), LG-Quenton Nelson (ankle), DE-Kwity Paye (hamstring), LB-Darius Leonard (ankle), CB-Rock Ya-Sin (ankle), S-Khari Willis (groin), TE-Jack Doyle (back), LT-Eric Fisher (rest), DT-Antwaun Woods (back)
Bowen Analysis: This list is long. That’s stressful. Check back Thursday.
-Limited: QB-Carson Wentz (ankles), LG-Mark Glowinski (knee), RB-Jonathan Taylor (knee)
Bowen Analysis: It’s rare to see Glowinski and/or Taylor on this list. Unless either got hurt during Thursday’s practice, they should be good to go.