Report: Colts' Carson Wentz, Quenton Nelson Likely to Play Week 1 After Foot Injuries

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 11, 2021

WESTFIELD, INDIANA - JULY 29: Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the Indianapolis Colts Training Camp at Grand Park on July 29, 2021 in Westfield, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz and left guard Quenton Nelson are reportedly "trending toward" being available for the team's Week 1 home game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 12 after they each underwent foot surgery in early August.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported the news Wednesday and noted the Colts will have a "better indication" of both players' potential availability sometime next week when they pass the two-week mark since surgery.

The Volume @TheVolumeSports

"We're not eliminating the possibility of him playing Week 1" 👀<br><br>Frank Reich tells <a href="https://twitter.com/ColinCowherd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ColinCowherd</a> he isn't writing Carson Wentz off just yet <a href="https://t.co/HlnR9gxdqN">pic.twitter.com/HlnR9gxdqN</a>

It's a promising development for Indianapolis, which provided a wide-ranging timetable of five-to-12 weeks for both players, leaving open the possibility that two critical members of the offense would miss up to the first six weeks of the regular season.

Instead, barring a setback, it sounds like both Wentz and Nelson could be on the field for the Colts' difficult stretch to start the campaign. After the home opener against the Seahawks, Indy hosts the Los Angeles Rams and then embarks on a three-game road trip against the Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens.

The Colts made a major bet that not only could Wentz return to form after a lackluster 2020 season with the Philadelphia Eagles but that he also would stay healthy after a series of injuries in Philly. The team didn't sign a proven veteran reserve, with Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger and Brett Hundley set to compete for the starting job if he misses time.

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Carson Wentz has been optimistic that he would recover on the earlier side of the 5-to-12-week timeline that coach Frank Reich laid out, per source, and he's been involved in ll the QB/offensive meetings throughout.

Wentz recorded 81 touchdowns and 21 interceptions across 40 appearances for the Eagles from 2017 through 2019. He tallied 16 TDs and 15 picks in 12 games last season before getting traded to Indianapolis in March for a pair of draft picks.

His arrival was a key part of the offseason for the Colts, who posted an 11-5 record last season before losing to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Philip Rivers, who guided the team's offense last season, retired in January and left a major void.

"I've always been wired that way, to have high expectations," Wentz told reporters in July. "And coming in here, I could feel it in the spring right after the trade, the culture was different."

Meanwhile, Nelson has established himself as one of the NFL's best offensive linemen since the Colts selected him in the first round of the 2018 draft. He's earned a Pro Bowl appearance and first-team All-Pro selections in all three of his pro seasons.

Chris Reed and Jake Eldrenkamp are the top candidates to join the starting lineup if Nelson is unavailable to open the campaign.

Indianapolis begins its three-game preseason slate Sunday when it welcomes the Carolina Panthers to Lucas Oil Stadium.