Quarterback Carson Wentz and guard Quenton Nelson are trending towards being available for the Colts’ Week 1 opener against the Seattle Seahawks, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
It should be noted that, while the team is certainly optimistic, Indy still needs to see how each player will respond once they officially begin to rehab in the near future. Every player heals differently, but these particular injuries, as mentioned by head coach Frank Reich, are ones where the player can play with a little bit of pain if they so choose.
For a team that’s been riddled with injuries to several key players to start training camp, I’d imagine the Colts are very encouraged to hear this news of their starting quarterback and left guard.
With quarterback Jacob Eason still trying to find his footing in practice and rookie Sam Ehlinger having his fair share of struggles, Indianapolis could really use Wentz back as soon as possible. That being said, it’s also vital for the team not to rush either player back if they’re not ready, as that could potentially cause issues during the regular season.
If both injuries are more on the short side in terms of total weeks missed, I’d venture to say the Colts would be just fine going without both starters for 2-3 weeks rather than rush them back and have the injuries potentially linger or cause even more of an during the season.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Wednesday morning that, ”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 [all] the QB/offensive meetings throughout.”
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.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 11, 2021
Remember, too, Wentz isn’t just a one-year plan for the Colts. When the team traded for the talented quarterback, they are hoping that Reich and the pieces around him will help turn Wentz into the long-term, franchise quarterback. Indy’s got one of the most well-constructed rosters in the league. If Wentz can be the long-term answer at quarterback, that would change things drastically for this team in a positive manner.
My guess is they’re not willing to risk Wentz’s long-term health for just a couple of games. The Colts, as they should, are likely thinking about the future and not just the 2021 season. They want this quarterback carousel to be resolved as much as the fans do.
There’s no question, though, getting back their starting quarterback and left guard in Week 1 would be a major win for the Colts, a team with high playoff aspirations this season.