Colts confident in Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger if Carson Wentz can’t start the season

It’s unclear whether Colts quarterback Carson Wentz will be ready to return from foot surgery by Week One, but if Wentz can’t go, the Colts don’t think they need to acquire a veteran quarterback.

Colts owner Jim Irsay said Sunday during the TV broadcast of the preseason game that the Colts plan to start either Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger if Wentz is out the first couple games.

On Sunday Eason, a 2020 fourth-round pick, went 15-for-21 for 183 yards, while Ehlinger, a 2021 sixth-round pick, went 10-for-15 for 155 yards. Colts coach Frank Reich sounded pleased with both quarterbacks afterward.

“I thought he went out there and showed himself well,” Reich said of Eason, via the Indianapolis Star. “There are times where [his timing] needs to be better, I think you’re seeing that right at times, but I think he’s making good progress. He’s very coachable, and I think he’s getting better each day and each week. Shoot, I’d [say the] same thing about our other quarterback. He had times where he was a little slow on the trigger, so he needs to speed that up, but there were also a lot of good flashes as well. Real good decision making, real good timing and then made good throws.”

The Colts took a risk when they decided to hand the starting job to the injury-prone Wentz without a single other quarterback on the roster who has ever taken an NFL snap. But they sound confident that Eason and Ehlinger can get the job done if Wentz can’t.