Indianapolis Colts quarterback Brett Hundley (3) runs against Detroit Lions defensive end Bruce Hector (76) and  linebacker Charles Harris (53) during the second half of a preseason game at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

Reports: Colts QB Brett Hundley, not Jacob Eason, worked with starters Wednesday

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Brett Hundley took the first-team reps on Wednesday ahead of Jacob Eason, the expected starter if injured Carson Wentz can’t play Sunday.

According to multiple reports, Hundley worked ahead of Eason as Wentz missed practice with two sprained ankles. Wentz left the Week 2 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter and has “significant swelling,” head coach Frank Reich said.

Hundley and Eason are both being prepped with the expectation Wentz will miss the Week 3 game at Tennessee, Reich said.

Wentz wouldn’t count himself out and said he’ll “throw the kitchen sink” at the rehab and treatment process with a goal of facing the Titans.

The Colts are 0-2 with three consecutive road games ahead.

Wentz said he has never played in a game after not practicing the week prior, and Reich indicated the Colts prefer using Friday’s practice as a benchmark for determining if players will be ready for gameday.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Westfield, IN, United States; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacob Eason (9) talks with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) at Grand Park. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Colts QB Carson Wentz hopes to play, receiving ‘kitchen sink’ treatment

Carson Wentz confessed to not having one good foot to stand on Wednesday, but the Indianapolis Colts quarterback plans an all-out blitz to get ready for Sunday’s game at Nashville against the Titans.

Wentz said he sprained his left ankle and, more severely, his right ankle last week in the home loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He was forced from the game in the fourth quarter and instantly worried his right foot and ankle might be a long-term issue. The right ankle injury is officially a high-ankle sprain.

Jacob Eason, who replaced Wentz against the Rams, would start at Tennessee (1-1) and took all the first-team reps for the Colts (0-2) in Wednesday’s practice. Wentz did not participate.

Wentz said he spent the past 48 hours focused on getting his ankles ready to play and will focus on that goal the rest of the week.

“A lot of treatment. Throwing kitchen sink at it trying to get healthy,” Wentz said.

Eason was intercepted by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, effectively ending the Colts’ chances. The Rams fumbled away an 11-point lead before their comeback.

Wentz left his home debut with the Colts, who acquired the former No. 2 overall draft pick from the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason, and has battled injuries throughout his career. He had foot surgery in August and missed the entire preseason.

Head coach Frank Reich said the team will prepare to start Eason while leaving open the possibility Wentz can play.

Wentz said Wednesday he is feeling betting by the hour.

–Field Level Media

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

Sep 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) passes the ball while Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) defends in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 injuries: Colts QB Carson Wentz rolled ankle ‘pretty bad’

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz was unable to finish Sunday’s game with a sprained right ankle and will require further evaluation on Monday.

Indianapolis blew a late lead and lost 27-24 to the Los Angeles Rams.

Wentz was injured when he collapsed awkwardly under the weight of Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

“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. “The longer we were off the field there it just stiffened up. He tried, but there was no chance.”

Backup Jacob Eason entered the game for Wentz but threw a costly interception that helped the Rams seal the game.

–Tests are required to determine the exact nature of the rib injury that forced Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to miss most of Miami’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, head coach Brian Flores said.

“They are getting tests done on Tua. We don’t know the severity of the injury right now,” Flores said.

Jacoby Brissett stepped in for Tagovailoa, who was blasted by Bills defensive end A.J. Epenesa while attempting to complete a pass on fourth down on Miami’s second possession.

Tagovailoa was assisted by trainers, who helped him walk to the sideline and later loaded the second-year quarterback onto a cart and taken to the locker room.

NFL Network reported X-rays were negative and described the injury as bruised ribs.

He completed 1 of 4 passes for 13 yards and was sacked twice before exiting.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) returns to the locker room following warmups before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Wilson: 5 bold predictions for 2021

Be bold, be bullish, be all-in when it comes to ultra-big, ultra-athletic and ultra-skilled Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf.

Metcalf is an extremely reliable breakout candidate and my prediction for huge NFL numbers in his third NFL season.

Here’s why:

At a sculpted 6-foot-4, 235 pounds with 4.33 speed in the 40-yard dash, Metcalf has freakish size and speed and knows how to use his superior traits to full advantage.

He had at least 100 yards or one touchdown in 10 of 16 games last season, finishing with 83 receptions for 1,303 yards (seventh in the NFL) and 10 touchdowns. He was targeted at least four times every game.

In two NFL seasons, he has 141 career catches for 2,203 yards and 17 touchdowns.

In his third NFL season, look for even greater production from Metcalf. He could emerge as the top wide receiver in the game.

Russell Wilson has built a strong chemistry with Metcalf and will make it a point to throw him the football frequently. That conclusion doesn’t require sources. It’s just a matter of fact and practicality.

The game is slowing down for Metcalf and he’s gained greater knowledge of the Seahawks’ offense and excellent timing with how Wilson likes to play.

As they say, “Let Russ cook.” How about, “Let Russ and Metcalf collaborate as co-chefs to cook a delicious meal of touchdowns.”

The Seahawks hired Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator, which could help Metcalf maximize his talents. Look at how much production the Los Angeles Rams, Waldron’s old team, have had at wide receiver and the diversity of their schemes under Sean McVay.

There could be extra pockets for Metcalf to operate.

Metcalf should also benefit from the presence of rookie D’Wayne Eskridge, who’s capable of being an effective weapon in the slot and as an outside receiver.

Metcalf lined up in the slot 16.6 percent of the time last season. That number could increase under Waldron’s direction. Plus, Metcalf has upgraded his route-running skills.

Under Waldron, the Seahawks are expected to increase their tempo with quick passing game strategies.

Metcalf is also an imposing red-zone target, where he scored five times last season.

And Metcalf has the requisite attitude for the job.

“Hungry,” he said. “Still hungry. Be better than last year, that’s always the goal.”

Here are four more bold predictions for the 2021 season:

Chiefs win it all

Yes, Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the talent to repeat. And they looked good in a dramatic season-opening win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Here’s saying they won’t repeat. And it’s not because of any obvious deficiencies with the Buccaneers.

The Kansas City Chiefs are just that good.

Between a fully healthy Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and an upgraded offensive line led by Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown, the Chiefs are primed to win a Super Bowl rematch over the Buccaneers.

Bills are in the mix

The Buffalo Bills are a sleeper Super Bowl candidate around the league.

The emergence of strong-armed mobile quarterback Josh Allen makes them a legitimate contender.

The addition of Stefon Diggs last season and general manager Brandon Beane’s steady roster moves to improve a loaded defense makes the Bills Mafia extremely happy.

This team is on the cusp of accomplishing big things.

Browns take over AFC North

The way the Baltimore Ravens’ running back situation has been decimated by injuries — including the losses of J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill for the season — could prevent them from remaining ahead of the pack in the division.

Lamar Jackson is a dynamic presence, but can only do so much given the injury situation in the backfield.

The Cleveland Browns are poised to ascend.

A two-running back system with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, a playmaking quarterback in Baker Mayfield, the return of Odell Beckham Jr. from an ACL injury and a defense that has Myles Garrett makes the Browns the heavy favorite in this division.

Colts take a step back

It’s hard to believe in Carson Wentz resurrecting his career with the Indianapolis Colts.

Wentz’s confidence and mechanics were shot in Philadelphia. Even having Frank Reich around to coach him up again won’t be enough to get Wentz back to where he began his career.

Look for the Tennessee Titans to rule the AFC South because of powerhouse running back Derrick Henry, the addition of Julio Jones and the play-action skills of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The defense, led by Jeffery Simmons, is improving.

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger (4) drops back to pass as he is watched by Carson Wentz and Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich during a combined Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Thursday, August 12, 2021, during Colts camp.

Colts Entertain Panthers

Colts OG Quenton Nelson (back) misses practice, QB Carson Wentz ready

An unspecified back injury kept All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson out of practice Wednesday, but the Indianapolis Colts gave quarterback Carson Wentz the green light for Week 1.

Wentz, sidelined during training camp by foot surgery, overcame missing multiple weeks of practice and a recent quarantine as a close contact to get ready for the Seattle Seahawks in the regular-season opener on Sunday.

Nelson had surgery on his right foot on Aug. 3, one day after Wentz, but is fully cleared from that procedure.

“Just has an occasional back flare-up,” Colts coach Frank Reich said of Nelson. “We just want to try to get ahead of it and get him back on track.”

Starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes was also sidelined Wednesday with tightness in his calf.

Whether stonewall blocker Nelson can line up in front of Wentz is unclear. Reich said all of the team’s injured players have a chance to play Sunday.

Nelson said he underwent three offseason surgeries — but resisted divulging what the operations were for or when they took place — and had the same foot surgery as Wentz in August.

Left tackle Eric Fisher was on the field for the Colts on Wednesday and will make an attempt to play. He was limited in practice by design, Reich said, but the Colts view Fisher as fully recovered from the torn Achilles he suffered with the Kansas City Chiefs in January.

Fisher’s return was delayed by a positive COVID-19 result two weeks ago.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz looks on in front of quarterback Jalen Hurts (R) during the first quarter of a game against the Washington Football Team at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles GM dishes on durability issues with Carson Wentz

Availability was the issue with Carson Wentz when it came time for the Philadelphia Eagles to chart their future late in 2020.

Eagles executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman revealed in a radio interview Wednesday that durability was the chief complaint about the No. 2 overall pick in 2016.

“We loved Carson,” Roseman told Sports Radio 94 WIP in Philadelphia of Wentz, who was benched in favor of Jalen Hurts for the final month of last season — then traded to the Indianapolis Colts.

“But we played four playoff games and we needed our backup in every one.”

Hurts is the starter to open the 2021 season under new head coach Nick Sirianni. Wentz is expected to be ready to go for Week 1 in Indianapolis following a training camp foot surgery.

Roseman all but closed the door on trading for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson after Sirianni named Hurts the Eagles’ starter for the opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

“He can play, and he can win,” Roseman said of Hurts.

After tearing his ACL in the final month of the 2017 regular season, Wentz missed the Eagles’ playoff run to the first Super Bowl victory in franchise history which was guided by Nick Foles. In 2019, he was forced to leave the Eagles’ wildcard playoff game with a head injury in the first quarter.

Colts head coach Frank Reich is intimately familiar with that history, having served as quarterbacks coach of the Eagles prior to being hired in Indianapolis.

Reich was relatively pointed in his comments on Wentz leading the team after the quarterback admitted he is unvaccinated, leading to a multiple-day absence that again called into question his availability.

“The franchise quarterback is a critically important position,” Reich said. “It’s without question a leadership position. As far as that goes, I would just say Carson, in many ways, is an exemplary leader. Are any of us the perfect leader? I don’t know. I don’t think so. We all have holes in our game somewhere and we’re all trying to get better and we’re all trying to learn. I’m trying to learn as a leader.”

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) took the field to observe practice Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, during training camp at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp At Grand Park In Westfield Indiana Tuesday Aug 17 2021

Colts welcome back QB Carson Wentz, O-line mates

Carson Wentz and two of his starting offensive linemen returned from injuries and participated with the Indianapolis Colts during Monday’s workout.

Wentz and All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson are still in the rehab stage of recovery from the same surgical procedure but there was no indication their foot injuries would be any concern during the open practice Monday.

Wentz ran in a straight line, dropped back from center and worked on plant-and-drive zig-zag cuts moving forward and backward. Nelson shuffled laterally and looked quick and comfortable in pass and run block sets.

Also back is center Ryan Kelly, who injured his elbow nearly three weeks ago during a wave of injuries at the outset of training camp.

To date, Wentz was considered iffy for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener because of a timeline for his return set at 5 to 12 weeks.

He has been on the field during most workouts as a non-participant, observing drills and play calls to continue assimilating to the offense.

Head coach Frank Reich said Sunday the Colts plan to remain cautious with all three starters and leave any decisions on their involvement in full squad workouts to the medical staff.

Reich and Wentz worked together with the Philadelphia Eagles, who traded the former No. 2 pick to the Colts in the offseason.

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Quenton Nelson (56) stretches at the start of practice at Grand Park in Westfield on Thursday, July 29, 2021, on the second full day of workouts of this summer's Colts training camp.

Colts Camp Revs Up

Colts QB Carson Wentz on target to start Week 1

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz and guard Quenton Nelson are on target to return from foot surgeries in time for the regular-season opener on Sept. 12.

ESPN reported the key starters are on track to be back five weeks after surgery, which would put them on the field for practice in early September. Wentz and then Nelson had the same foot surgery to repair broken bones.

“All signs are pretty positive right now,” Colts coach Frank Reich said Wednesday on NFL Network. “Whether that comes out to Week 1, 2 — we don’t know but we’ll find out soon enough.”

Wentz and Nelson were on the field for the second consecutive day Wednesday taking “mental reps” and will begin advanced rehab soon, but Reich said neither is close to being back on the field for contact drills.

Without Wentz, rookie Sam Ehlinger worked his way into first-team reps at quarterback along with Jacob Eason.

Reich said he’d rotate the young passers in the preseason with Brett Hundley also in the mix for time.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Westfield, IN, United States; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Dezmon Patmon (10) at Grand Park. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY SportsJul 29, 2021; Westfield, IN, United States; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) at Grand Park. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Colts QB Carson Wentz at practice boot-free

Carson Wentz returned to practice, but the Indianapolis Colts quarterback was merely an observer on Tuesday morning.

Wentz wore a red no-contact jersey, shorts and cleats — not a protective boot — eight days after the Colts said he needed surgery to remove a bone from his left foot.

Wentz is roughly four weeks from the earliest possible return date, based on the initial recovery timeline of 5-12 weeks the team provided.

Without Wentz, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason, the Colts are using Jacob Eason, Brett Hundley and rookie Sam Ehlinger at quarterback.

All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson, who had the same foot surgery as Wentz this month, was also at Tuesday’s practice.

–Field Level Media