Colts GM Chris Ballard Won't Comment on Carson Wentz's Future After Missing Playoffs

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2022

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) looks for a receiver during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard was noncommittal about quarterback Carson Wentz's future with the team when addressing the media Thursday.

"When we made the decision to make a move on Carson, at the time of the decision, we felt good about it," Ballard said, per Stephen Holder of The Athletic. "And I still don't regret it. ... I won't make a comment on who's going to be here and who's not going to be here. That's not fair."

Per NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano, Ballard also said, "I think we'll look at everything," when asked about the team's quarterback situation.

The Colts' 2021 season came to a disappointing end Sunday when they lost 26-11 on the road to a Jacksonville Jaguars team that came into the game with a 2-14 record. The defeat eliminated Indianapolis from playoff contention, capping a 9-8 season.

After veteran signal-caller Philip Rivers retired in the offseason, the Colts acquired Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 draft pick that became a first-rounder.

Wentz was coming off the worst season of his career, as he completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns and an NFL-high 15 interceptions that led to him losing the starting job to Jalen Hurts.

The Colts hoped reuniting him with head coach Frank Reich, who was previously Wentz's offensive coordinator with the Eagles, would work wonders.

Things got off to a rocky start, as Indy began the season 0-3, but it proceeded to win nine of its next 12 games, putting it in position to need just one win in its final two games to reach the playoffs for a second consecutive year.

Instead, the Colts fell 23-20 at home to the Las Vegas Raiders and 26-11 on the road to the Jags, which allowed the Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers to sneak into the playoffs ahead of them.

Wentz's play undoubtedly had a hand in the Colts missing the playoffs, as he went 16-of-27 for 148 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions against Vegas and 17-of-29 for 185 yards with one touchdown and one pick against the Jaguars.

All told, Wentz completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season, while also rushing for 215 yards and a score.

The numbers were a big improvement compared to 2020, but he didn't do enough down the stretch, throwing fewer than two touchdown passes in six of the final eight games of the season.

Indy's offensive game plan throughout the 2021 campaign largely relied on running back Jonathan Taylor carrying the load, and he did that expertly with 2,171 total yards and 20 touchdowns from scrimmage, establishing himself as an MVP candidate.

That strategy worked well at times, but NFL teams need strong quarterback play in order to be a great team, and Wentz often didn't provide that.

It remains to be seen whether Wentz can be that player for the Colts, but he is under contract through 2024.