Colts coach Frank Reich declines to commit to Carson Wentz after disastrous outing vs. Jaguars

·3-min read

On Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts tanked in a stunning loss that cost them a playoff bid.

On Monday, Frank Reich declined to commit to Carson Wentz's future as the team's starting quarterback. The Colts head coach was asked directly about Wentz's role moving forward during his season-ending news conference. Here's what he had to say, per the Indianapolis Star:

“We loved the team we had this year, we knew everyone we brought in this year, we expected to play winning football,” Reich said. “Next year’s roster will be next year’s roster. I don’t want to open it up about one player and then start talking about all of them.

That adds up to a long-winded "no comment" from Reich, who spent the aftermath of Sunday's 26-11 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a "demanding" meeting with owner Jim Irsay instead of looking ahead to a wild-card game next weekend. Wentz's shortcomings on Sunday were a big reason why.

Wentz made costly mistakes vs. Jaguars

The first-year Colts quarterback who arrived via offseason trade from the Philadelphia Eagles completed 17 of 29 passes for 185 yards with an interception and a meaningless touchdown in the game's final five minutes. He took six sacks for a loss of 46 yards, with one resulting in a fumble that set up a Jaguars field goal.

His interception on the first play of a third-quarter drive set up a Jaguars touchdown that all but ensured the game's outcome.

The loss to the league-worst 3-14 Jaguars cemented a late-season collapse that saw the Colts drop consecutive chances to secure a playoff berth, including Week 17's loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. It abruptly extinguished chatter that they were dark-horse Super Bowl contenders.

Will Carson Wentz play for the Colts next season? (Nathan Ray Seebeck/Reuters)
Will Carson Wentz play for the Colts next season? (Nathan Ray Seebeck/Reuters)

Wentz's first season in Indianapolis a mixed bag with a bad ending

Wentz started every game for Indianapolis this season. He tied his career low with seven interceptions while throwing 27 touchdowns a season after throwing 15 interceptions in 12 starts with the Eagles. He also lost five fumbles, and his 62.6% completion rate, 94.6 quarterback rating and averages of 6.9 yards per attempt and 209.6 yards per game were middling among NFL starters.

In short, he was a game manager who failed in that role against the worst team in football with a playoff berth at stake. His ongoing increased risk to land on the reserve/COVID-19 list doesn't help his cause.

The Colts field a ball-hawking defense, a strong offensive line and an elite run game anchored by Offensive Player of the Year candidate Jonathan Taylor. Like a few teams around the league, they appear to be a quarterback away from true contention. That is, if Wentz isn't the quarterback to get them there.

Reich, like the Eagles before him, sounds far from convinced that Wentz is that guy. The question then becomes: Can the Colts acquire somebody who is during the offseason?

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