Indianapolis Colts Odds Drop On Heels of Carson Wentz Foot Injury

Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass. Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass. Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Did the Indianapolis Colts mortgage their 2021-22 campaign by going all-in on Carson Wentz? Certainly, it seems to be the case now with news of Wentz needing to take an indefinite leave of absence to have foot surgery – an unexpected development but one that’s intensified dramatically by the Colts’ lack of a viable contingency plan.

NFL training camp only started a week ago but things have already gone south for the AFC South hopefuls. Wentz injured his left foot at the end of Thursday’s practice and soon after it was revealed that he would need surgery to mend a broken bone. Wentz has already had surgery and early indications suggest he’s likely to be out anywhere between 5-12 weeks.

A 5-12 week absence is rather wide. And this indeterminate timetable is already having an impact on the Colts value in NFL betting markets. To say that this is terrible news for Frank Reich and the Colts is the understatement to end all understatements.

On the heels of the week’s unfortunate turn of events, sportsbooks across the board adjusted NFL futures with the Indianapolis Colts getting demoted. In Super Bowl 56 futures with DraftKings, the Colts have seen their odds drift as far as +4000, putting them on a level with the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers – all teams that are deemed to be outside bets. Outside the Top 10 and on the periphery of legitimate contention, which some might refer to as the group of so-called pretenders in NFL betting markets.

Wentz’ reunion with Frank Reich, which came about in the offseason after the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback announced he wanted out of the City of Brotherly Love, was one of the guiding offseason storylines. It was a hyped up reunion that yielded high expectations, largely because of the pair’s successful partnership in 2017. When Wentz enjoyed the best season of his NFL career; that is, until he suffered a season-ending injury in the latter stages of Philadelphia’s campaign that year and then was forced to sit on the side lines while Nick Foles took over his starting job and led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl title.

With Wentz out indefinitely, the Colts are left without experience and depth in the quarterback position. They have Jason Eason, Sam Ehlinger, Jason Morton and the recently signed Brett Hundley to lean on – none of which practically leaps off the page as a backup that can live up to expectations. Hence, the devaluation of the Colts odds.

As things currently stand, Jason Eason appears to be the heir apparent, He’s been taking first-team reps in the absence of Wentz. Eason is a fourth round pick in 2020 but he’s an untried and untested quarterback and it remains to be seen what he’s made of.

Is It Going To Be a Case of Déjà vu for Wentz

If it wasn’t hard enough for Wentz to have to everyday suffer the ignominy of walking past the statue of Nick Foles – to commemorate Saint Nick’s Super Bowl triumph forevermore in front of Lincoln Financial stadium – he might be set to come face to face with his former backup in Indianapolis. Talk about déjà vu.

Nothing is certain as yet, but the rumour mill is brewing with a potential trade for Nick Foles from the Chicago Bears. The Bears have depth at the quarterback position with Andy Dalton and rookie Justin Fields and that has allowed them to relegate Foles to the No.3 position. Trading away Foles therefore is a possibility that would make sense for Chicago and, in turn, the Colts too. After all, Frank Reich was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia. He guided Foles as he led the Eagles to the improbable victory at the expense of the New England Patriots to clinch the Lombardy Trophy for the Eagles.

Foles denied any talks with Reich or the Colts were taking place when asked about a potential reunion on Monday, but he did have a lot of great things to say about his former coach.

“You all watched the 2017 season and the playoffs where he changed the offense and built it around me,” said Foles. “He understood my mentality as a player and he was able to build it around me and put me in a successful position.”

Foles also talked about what he would expect from his next team should the Bears deal him away at some point this season. And some of what he said … well, it sounded like an indirect request or appeal to be dealt to the Colts in fact.

“I don’t want to go to someone I don’t know,” Foles said. “When you have a great coaching staff, it’s something special. A big reason we were great in Philly was we had a great coaching staff. We did really well and they put us in a position to succeed — and it showed. I think everyone can say it showed…..”I don’t want to just go somewhere where I don’t know him (the coach), I don’t know the offense. I’ve gone down that road before and it’s not fun.”

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