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Sam Ehlinger to Start for Colts vs. Texans After Nick Foles' Injury in Giants Game

Adam WellsJanuary 2, 2023

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 01: Sam Ehlinger #4 of the Indianapolis Colts passes against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on January 01, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After playing the second half against the New York Giants on Sunday, Sam Ehlinger will start at quarterback in the Indianapolis Colts' season finale against the Houston Texans.

Interim head coach Jeff Saturday made the announcement Monday. Nick Foles was removed in the second quarter against the Giants with a rib injury after being hit by Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Ehlinger played decently against the Giants, albeit in a game the Colts were losing by 21 points at halftime. The 24-year-old finished 9-of-14 for 60 yards and one touchdown in the second half.

The Colts lost 38-10, giving them 11 losses in a season for the first time since 2017.

Week 18 will mark the third game Ehlinger has started this season. Then-head coach Frank Reich announced Oct. 24 that Ehlinger would take over as the starting quarterback because of Matt Ryan's struggles and his shoulder injury.

Ehlinger went 32-of-52 for 304 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in his first two starts. The Colts lost to the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots by a combined score of 43-19.

After the Colts fired Reich on Nov. 7 and Saturday took over as head coach on an interim basis, Ryan returned to the starting lineup. He led Indianapolis to a 25-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Saturday's first game, but things have fallen apart since then.

The Colts have lost six in a row. They benched Ryan for a second time prior to Week 16, and Foles took over as the starter. The Super Bowl 52 MVP didn't have a touchdown and threw four interceptions in six quarters over two games before his injury.

While most of the focus in Week 18 will be on matchups with playoff implications, the Texans-Colts game could have huge ramifications on the 2023 NFL draft order. If the Texans win and the Chicago Bears lose to the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago will get the No. 1 overall pick.

The Colts hold the fifth pick, though they could move up two spots to No. 3 overall with a loss and wins by the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.