According to their head coach Frank Reich, the Indianapolis Colts plan to largely sit the team’s starters against the Detroit Lions during Friday night’s preseason finale (via The Herald Bulletin’s George Bremer):
Frank Reich announces Jacob Eason will start Friday. Most starters won’t play, to match the plan for Detroit. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) August 25, 2021
The final decision came after Reich recently spoke with Lions head coach Dan Campbell—and each side mutually indicated that it was not planning on playing its starters during this year’s last week of preseason.
So… Frank Reich says he spoke to Detroit coach Dan Campbell who says he does not intend to play his starters on Friday, so the Colts are backing off on their plans, too. Many more starters will be out Friday, Reich says.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 25, 2021
With current fill-in Jacob Eason getting the nod at starting quarterback, Reich has already stated that returning starter Carson Wentz will be held out of Friday night’s finale.
It makes sense too.
Wentz just returned to the practice field (albeit in a somewhat limited capacity)—and it was much sooner than expected from a recent offseason foot surgery (which had an initial timetable of 5-12 weeks for recovery).
The idea of him playing behind the Colts’ backup offensive line and pushing it too much, too early looms large. The Colts plan to exercise a great deal of caution with him.
Even without Wentz and the majority of the starters, it’s a great opportunity for some of the ‘bubble’ 53-man roster players to make one last push for a final spot—in what could be close to a full audition of game action.
As it stands, the Colts will be bringing their backup horsepower to the Motor City.