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Colts QB Carson Wentz is Still Beloved by Teammate, RB Jonathan Taylor—Who Expects His Return

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback Carson Wentz is still beloved by his superstar running back Jonathan Taylor, who had high compliments for his fellow teammate behind center on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via The Herald Bulletin’s George Bremer):

Even though Wentz’s poor stretch to finish the season rightfully overshadows a lot of the good he accomplished in 2021, as his talented backfield teammate points out, there were still some positives to take away from a disappointing ending for everyone.

Wentz threw for 27 touchdowns to 7 interceptions, but perhaps most importantly, his athleticism, mobility, and skill-set as a dual-threat quarterback, really complemented Taylor and the Colts’ oftentimes dominant ground game—granting the offense the ability to run play-action, RPOs, and bootlegs, which made their play calls difficult to defend, when things were actually really going well there for a while. From purely that standpoint, he’s the ideal quarterback prototype for head coach Frank Reich from a play-caller’s perspective.

It’s why when there was a contingency of Colts fans fondly reminiscing about a 39 year old ‘twilight of his playing career’ Philip Rivers from a season prior after the team’s shocking late season collapse—which Wentz certainly contributed to, that I was not among them.

Don’t get me wrong, Rivers was a veteran leader and performed his job just fine and efficiently—especially in a COVID-19 shortened, locked down offseason. However, the 2020 Colts offense was maxed out with him, particularly with his diminished arm strength and nonexistent mobility. Their offensive ceiling was realistically capped, and I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that Taylor had a breakout season with a more athletically gifted starting quarterback behind center.

Sure, the Colts presumably make the AFC playoffs with Rivers, but this was a franchise that wasn’t going to get much farther than the Wild Card round. He wasn’t going to out-duel Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, or Joe Burrow either—as he isn’t dynamic enough at what was/is this late stage of his playing career.

While I am still steadfast in the option that the Colts should rightfully explore any and all potential starting quarterback upgrades this offseason—particularly if an Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson realistically becomes available, not everyone has lost support for Wentz.

The team owner, the general manager, and the head coach haven’t exactly given him a firm vote of confidence yet this early offseason, but he still has continued conviction from his teammate Taylor—who’s anticipating his return. That has to count for something.

If nothing else, a loyal teammate.