INDIANAPOLIS — Colts quarterback Carson Wentz will start Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks nearly six weeks after having surgery on his left foot, which could have kept him out well into the regular season, coach Frank Reich said Friday.
There was a lot of uncertainty about what Wentz’s availability would be when Wentz injured his left foot on the second day of training camp July 29. Wentz had surgery Aug. 2, and the Colts gave a five- to 12-week timetable for his return. The quarterback returned to practice on Aug. 23, just three weeks after his surgery.
“I know they had a very wide range of a timetable, and I knew that too,” Wentz said this week. “I knew that, going in, a lot determined on how the surgery went and a lot of factors, but at the end of the day, I say God is good for getting me to this point.”
Wentz’s return hasn’t been a smooth one, though. He missed five days after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list because he was a close contact of a team member who tested positive for the coronavirus. Wentz is not vaccinated. Missing those days cut into his time to work on chemistry with his teammates; Wentz took part in a number of individual practices but had only three full practices since training camp started July 28.
The Colts acquired Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles during the offseason in hopes of stopping the revolving door at quarterback since Andrew Luck retired in 2019. Wentz will be the Colts’ fifth Week 1 starter since 2017.
“You don’t like having to change quarterbacks every year, but then there is another professional growth side of it that you like doing it because it really challenges you to use the best of every player. But certainly the quarterback is the key figure,” Reich said.
Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, is trying to rebound from a disappointing final season in Philadelphia in which he was sacked 50 times, threw 16 interceptions and was benched after 12 games.
“I think of it as another opportunity,” Wentz said. “I believe God’s got lots of things going on in my life and he’s put me here for a reason, and I’m going to make the most of it. Whatever that looks like, whatever that means, I’m going to make the most of it and hopefully make this city proud.”
The Colts will have Wentz against the Seahawks but will be without one of their starting cornerbacks. Veteran Xavier Rhodes will miss the game due to a calf injury that kept him out of practice this week. Rock Ya-Sin is the front-runner to start with Kenny Moore. The pair will try to slow down Seattle’s top receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who both had over 1,000 receiving yards last season.
In other team news, guard Quenton Nelson has been cleared to start Sunday against the Seahawks, sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Nelson had been questionable with lingering back issues, then reported no issues Saturday and has been medically cleared to play.