According to team owner Jim Irsay on Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts are not going to rush either quarterback Carson Wentz or offensive guard Quenton Nelson back from injury—even though both seem to be progressing surprisingly well for a potential Week 1 return:
“Well, in talking to Carson, I told him, I said, ‘Look, you have to be right. We want you to be one hundred percent. Don’t rush it back,’” Irsay said during Thursday’s media session at Colts training camp. “I know he’s such a competitor, and he wants to be there for his team, but he has to help us all by only coming back when he’s ready, ready.”
“Because we want to see him healthy for two months, and two years, and four years, and do those sorts of things that you see the great players at the Hall of Fame, and they’re there because they could stay on the field.”
“And Carson does everything he can to stay on the field. He’s such a tough competitor, and you just want to see him ready when he comes back. If that’s Seattle (in Week 1), so be it. If it’s not, it’s when he’s ready, and no one can tell that for sure.”
“Same thing with Q. They have to be ready. I know Q wants to be back for Seattle, and him and I had a good talk, you know I just wanted to make sure to see where his head was because he’s coming off two surgeries, and people don’t realize you know the mental difficulty, the toughness that it takes to go through these things because your family, your teammates, your coaches, and the trainers, everyone’s behind you, but only you walk those steps 24/7. Only you know what it’s like being in your body.”
“Every single waking moment, and to come off those two offseason surgeries and be ready to go then all of the sudden, but you know Q was great. He’s cut from a tough cloth and didn’t bat an eyelash, and he’s fired up and hoping to be back for Seattle, I know.”
Irsay’s comments are not necessarily shocking, as both Wentz and Nelson are critical players to the Colts’ success both this season and long-term, going forward.
The Colts have to make sure that each player is fully healthy and right before having them return to the football field.
If that means an extra week or a few, the team will just have to battle through it.
Otherwise, they could risk exacerbating another lower leg injury because the foot isn’t fully healed yet.
Something that could have worse longstanding impact than the Colts initially holding out either Wentz or Nelson for a little extra time to ensure they’re 100% in the first place.