Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) is tackled close to the end zone during the second half of an Indianapolis Colts game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Rams won 27-24.

Colts: ‘Too early’ to know if QB Carson Wentz will miss time

Carson Wentz has a pair of ankle injuries and his status for Week 3 is cloudy as the Indianapolis Colts turn the page on a tough home loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Head coach Frank Reich said Monday the team should know more about Wentz and his availability later in the week.

“We’ll have to see as we go,” Reich said, “and then map out a plan.”

Wentz left the game in the fourth quarter and was unable to return. He bent awkwardly on a tackle by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. When he reached the sideline, Wentz removed the shoe from his right foot and limped to the bench.

Backup Jacob Eason took over for Wentz. He was intercepted by Jalen Ramsey on his second pass attempt with 2:13 remaining, sparking the Rams to a rally and a 27-24 victory.

“He rolled it up pretty bad. I kind of had a sense when we walked off the field because I saw that it didn’t look good,” Reich said after the game. “The longer we were off the field there it just stiffened up. He tried, but there was no chance.”

It’s unclear if Wentz also hurt his left ankle on that play or earlier in the game.

Wentz finished 20-for-31 passing for 247 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Eason completed 2 of 5 pass attempts for 25 yards and the costly pick.

On the season, Wentz has completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 498 yards and three TDs against one interception.

Eason would get the start in Week 3 at Tennessee (1-1) if Wentz is unable to go. The Colts are off to an 0-2 start.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) gestures at the line of scrimmage  in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reich: Colts QB Rivers, 39, has ‘multiple years’ left

A youngster compared to elder statesmen Tom Brady and former teammate Drew Brees, Philip Rivers might be multiple seasons from retiring to coach high school football.

That’s the estimation of Colts head coach Frank Reich, who said the 39-year-old Rivers has “multiple years of good football ahead of him.”

Rivers ranks in the top 10 in yards per game (269.8 is ninth) and yards per attempt (7.7, ninth) and is 11th in completion percentage (68.1 percent). The Colts are fifth in the NFL in scoring at 28.6 points per game and ninth in total offense (376.7 yards per game).

“The way he’s playing right now,” Reich said, “we said when we got him here, I said Philip is more than capable (of playing in 2021).”

Rivers signed with Indianapolis as a free agent in March, his first NFL foray in a new uniform since the Chargers landed the North Carolina State quarterback in 2004. At the time, the one-year deal was heralded as a multi-year possibility.

In May, Reich said: “I’m very optimistic it will be a multiple year thing.”

The Colts could have other options, including reuniting Reich with one of his former Philadelphia pupils. Carson Wentz was recently benched by the Eagles and the cap hit is virtually identical for Philadelphia to trade or keep him in 2021. Nick Foles claimed the starting job with the Chicago Bears and is on a multi-year deal but he’s sidelined by yet another injury.

Jacoby Brissett, the Colts’ starter in 2019, is due to hit free agency but likely would be open to coming back as the starting quarterback.

Ultimately, Reich signaled the Colts’ decision at the position might be up to Rivers. Rivers said in his opening press conference with the Colts that he would make a decision on future seasons one year at a time.

“If I feel like I feel right now next year, then I’ll be excited to keep going,” Rivers said in the spring. “Again, depending on how the team feels about that and etc. So, I don’t know, I don’t have a number on it. Like I said, I want to coach my son, my oldest son. I have two boys that are 12 and eight (years old). He’ll be a sixth grader, so we have a little bit of time but that is important to me to coach him in high school. So, if that gives you a little idea. I’m not going to get carried away. I don’t think you’ll see me in the Tom Brady range. But I am excited and feel like I can still help a football team go win a championship.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2020; Lake Forest, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) looks to pass the ball during training camp at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Close connections create complications for Colts, Bears

The Chicago Bears could face their toughest test yet this season when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon.

Chicago (3-0) enters Week 4 as one of seven unbeaten teams to start the 2020 campaign. It has been an unorthodox path to perfection for the Bears, who have won all three games by four-point margins. Furious three-TD rallies at Detroit Week 1 and in Atlanta last week with Nick Foles at the controls off the bench helped carve a most unpredictable path.

“It has truly taken everybody,” Bears tight end Jimmy Graham, who has three receiving touchdowns to lead the team. “It’s truly taken every player, every coach — offense, defense and special teams — to pull out these wins. And when you’re able to do things like this … that’s when you know you’re building something special.”

Foles heads into the Colts game as the Bears’ clear-cut No. 1 signal-caller after replacing teammate Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter last week. Foles engineered a fourth-quarter rally to knock off the Atlanta Falcons and seize the starting job going forward.

For Foles and the Bears, the challenge figures to be tougher this week against the Colts (2-1). The Colts are guided by Frank Reich. The second-year head coach was with the Philadelphia Eagles as quarterback coach — and Foles’ bible study partner, meeting room mentor and friend — when Foles replaced Carson Wentz and won Super Bowl MVP.

“He was the one who really figured me out as a player,” Foles said of Reich’s tutelage in 2017.

Indianapolis is coming off back-to-back wins over the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets.

The Colts rolled to a 36-7 victory over New York last week thanks in large part to an aggressive defense that registered two sacks and three interceptions against Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

The Colts have allowed only 225.3 yards per game, which is the best mark in the NFL. They’ll have plans to get Foles out of a rhythm.

“Nick is about as unflappable of a person as I’ve ever been around,” Foles said. “”He’s a very unique player in that regard. Extremely talented. He’s a big-time passer; this guy, he just has this knack for making big plays like few I’ve ever seen, and then he has this knack for coming up big in big moments. In the biggest moments, that’s usually when he’s at his best. … He’s a stud, man.”

Colts veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has skillfully managed the offense, completing 17 of 21 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown in his latest game. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor added 59 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

Taylor credited Rivers with setting the tone for the calm-and-steady Colts.

“Seventeen years, there’s not one defensive scheme that you can put in his face that he doesn’t have an answer to,” Taylor said. “When you have a guy who has experience like that, you know that you’re in good hands.”

The line of scrimmage could decide this showdown, and a special matchup is likely to take place on the interior as Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson goes up against Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks.

Chicago’s defense as a whole will look for a better performance in Week 4. The Bears are No. 15 in the league with 364.0 yards allowed per game, and they have not yet shown the elite performance they hoped to achieve.

This is the first time the Bears and Colts have met since 2016, when Indianapolis held on for a 29-23 win at home. The Colts lead the all-time series 24-19 but have lost two of the last three matchups.

The Bears will be without dynamic running back Tarik Cohen, who tore his ACL last week against Atlanta and will miss the rest of the season. Cohen’s absence could mean a heavier workload for David Montgomery, and former Oregon State running back Artavis Pierce could make his NFL debut after the team promoted him from the practice squad this week.

–Field Level Media