Colts' Carson Wentz on Track to Start Week 1 vs. Seahawks After Foot Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2021

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) throws during practice at the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

When Carson Wentz underwent foot surgery at the beginning of August, he was expected to miss a chunk of the 2021 season.

It turns out he'll be under center for Week 1.

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said Wentz will be a full participant in practice Wednesday and will suit up for Sunday's season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.   

The Colts traded a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional second-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Wentz in the offseason. They did so with the hope of settling their quarterback position, which was in a state of flux the last two seasons following the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck in 2019. 

That plan hit a snag when Wentz went down in camp, as he underwent surgery to remove a piece of bone that broke loose in his foot. He also was forced to miss time during the preseason because he was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

His absences left Sam Ehlinger and Jacob Eason to battle for the starting spot. Eason was winning the battle as camp progressed, and he then clinched the job when Ehlinger suffered a knee sprain in the final game of the preseason.

All that was left was a waiting game to determine whether Wentz would be cleared in time for Week 1 or if the 2020 fourth-round pick would get his first NFL start.

"I'm optimistic, but we'll see how it responds," Wentz told reporters after returning to practice Aug. 23. "As long as there's nothing I can do to make it worse, I've played through a lot worse."

Wentz is coming off a miserable 2020 campaign in Philadelphia during which he went from franchise quarterback to pariah in one fell swoop. He threw for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns and a league-high 15 interceptions despite being benched for the final four games of the season. 

The Colts are banking on Wentz's previous success with Reich turning his career around.