While there’s not quite a quarterback controversy in Indianapolis, the door might be starting to crack open a bit with rookie Sam Ehlinger splitting the Colts’ first-team reps with incumbent starter Jacob Eason in Tuesday’s team training camp practice:
From Inside Training Camp Live: The #Colts QB depth chart had a little bit of a shakeup today. pic.twitter.com/IBvXJBpq6f— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 10, 2021
The Colts are trying to bide their time until starter Carson Wentz returns from recent offseason foot surgery—but neither replacement option looks exactly great right now:
Colts' QB situation: Eason's still in front. He hasn't been great. Hasn't been terrible. But he has certainly not locked up the job.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 10, 2021
Ehlinger has impressed, so the Colts wanna get a better look.
This week — 2 practices vs. Carolina, then a preseason game — is huge for both.
For what it’s worth, Eason actually responded to the added pressure on Tuesday with a strong practice performance—while Ehlinger wasn’t quite as sharp, perhaps a byproduct of now going up against the Colts’ first-team defense, and no longer the unit’s primary backups:
Jacob Eason 9-of-10 on the day. Sam Ehlinger 5-of-11. They split starting reps.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) August 10, 2021
Obviously, a strong day from Eason.
Ehlinger’s least efficient day in a while. Few sacks. A drop against him.
Regarding the current quarterback competition as a whole, Eason has the much bigger arm, but less mobility, and while he has a leg up from a year of learning the Colts playbook already, it seems like it’s been Ehlinger so far who’s been progressing quicker in his passing reads and seems more comfortable in the offense collectively.
These next few joint training camp practices against the Carolina Panthers will be critical for both young quarterbacks—as well as each’s corresponding preseason debut this weekend.