Well, that didn’t take long.
After a 3-5 start to the season and an ugly performance against the Tennessee Titans, Carson Wentz is once again on the hot seat.
The Indianapolis Colts are in a quarterback predicament. If Wentz plays 75% of the team’s offensive snaps, or if he plays 70% and the team makes the postseason, the Colts 2022 first-round pick will go to the Philadelphia Eagles. That pick is beginning to look a lot better than initially expected, which has led a handful of local media members in Indianapolis to wave the white flag on the Wentz experiment.
Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star took Wentz to task following his performance against Tennessee on Sunday, pleading with Frank Reich to pull the plug on Wentz just eight weeks into the season. He writes:
The Carson Wentz experiment was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? We’ll always have that Bomb Cyclone in San Francisco, and those victories over a bad team from Miami and a worse one from Houston. But we’re reaching the point where this experiment needs an expiration date, and while that date cannot be Thursday against the New York Jets for obvious reasons – the Colts have obviously screwed up their quarterback room beyond recognition – this experiment needs to end soon.
You know it and I know it, and you know the Philadelphia Eagles are terrified right now, because it’s not just the Colts’ future riding on this decision; the Eagles are invested heavily as well.indystar.com
Local media members aren’t the only ones talking about Wentz’s job security either. Colin Cowherd, a self proclaimed Wentz supporter for most of the quarterback’s career, stated on an episode of “The Colin Cowherd Podcast” that the Colts are split on whether to start Wentz moving forward.
“I think they’re split in the building on what to do with Carson Wentz,” Cowherd said. “I think Frank Reich wants him. He’s one of those quarterbacks. He divides a building.” It’s unclear whether this is just speculation or inside knowledge from Cowherd, but we do know he has a working relationship with Colts GM Chris Ballard — he’s appeared on Cowherd’s show The Herd a handful of times throughout the years.
Now, will the Colts actually bench Wentz this early into his tenure with the Colts? I’d say there’s no shot.
They have a Thursday night matchup with the New York Jets this week, so it definitely won’t happen now. If they wanted to secure their first-round pick for next year and punt on the season, they’ll have to bench Wentz for four games at least, five to be safe. The team’s bye week is Week 14, which feels like the natural benching point. But with just four games remaining after their bye, it could be too late.
As Eagles fans, we have to hope that Wentz can pull it together and rattle off some wins in the coming weeks. Before their Week 14 bye, Indy has three very winnable games against the Jets, Texans, and Jaguars. Wentz can certainly do enough to beat bad teams, and those are three of the worst franchises in the league. They have a combined record of 4-18 at the moment.
Winning just those three games would put the Colts at 6-7 heading into their bye. They’ll more than likely still be in wildcard contention at that point, so benching Wentz would probably be out of the question.
It’s a tough spot to be in for the Colts. If they do bench Wentz in favor of one of their younger quarterbacks, you risk ruining his mental state of mind and erasing the so called ‘fresh start’ so many pundits said he needed. But then again, maybe he just isn’t the long-term answer for Indianapolis and they’re willing to swallow their pride and admit this mistake.
I’m just glad it’s not happening here in Philly. But nevertheless, I’ll be paying close attention to this situation as it unfolds over the next few weeks. As we all should be.