Sam Ehlinger Takes 1st-Team Reps with Colts After Carson Wentz's Foot Injury

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2021

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger throws during practice at the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Indianapolis Colts potentially have a quarterback battle brewing after Carson Wentz's foot injury.

Rookie Sam Ehlinger took first-team reps at practice Tuesday, and Colts coach Frank Reich said the team will "take it day-by-day" in determining who gets more work moving forward. Jacob Eason had been getting the first-team reps since Wentz underwent surgery to repair a foot injury.

“It wasn’t Jacob doing anything wrong,” Reich said Tuesday, per The Athletic's Stephen Holder. "This is a meritocracy and Sam has looked good, so we decided to split it up. The good news is they both looked sharp today. We’ll continue to split those reps.”

Wentz is expected to be out well into the regular season.

Eason was the Colts' fourth-round pick in 2020; Ehlinger was taken in the sixth round this year. 

The Colts appear determined to see what they have in both young quarterbacks rather than make a trade for a veteran. Nick Foles, currently third on the Chicago Bears' depth chart, has been oft-mentioned as a potential target. Foles and Reich have an existing relationship dating back to their days in Philadelphia.

"I don't mind talking about Nick Foles. I love Nick Foles," Reich said last Wednesday. "He plays for the Chicago Bears. I haven't talked to him, but I think he's a great player. I think he's proven that. I think he's a great teammate—there's nothing about Nick Foles that I don't like. I think he's a winner. He's certainly a guy that fits our kind of culture, but he plays for the Chicago Bears. We're glad we got the guys we've got, and we're focusing on getting our team better, and I'm excited about that and the players that we have."

With a roster that looks primed for Super Bowl contention aside from the quarterback spot, there will likely be some increased pressure if Ehlinger and Eason struggle in the preseason.