The Indianapolis Colts may be in a state of shock right now.
As it turned out, he actually sprained both of his ankles.
That obviously put his availability for Week 3 in doubt, leaving Jacob Eason as the starter in waiting if Wentz can’t go.
Yet somehow, he is practicing with the team Friday just two days before a divisional matchup against the Tennessee Titans.
A bit of a surprise: Colts QB Carson Wentz is practicing today, which means starting Sunday in Tennessee could be in play.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 24, 2021
While he is practicing, one has to question just how stable he can be playing on two sprained ankles.
A Must-Win So Early
The Colts desperately want to avoid dropping to 0-3 to begin the season.
Doing so against the Titans would essentially put Tennessee on a simple track to take the division before we even reach October.
Is that an overreaction?
It may not be if Wentz plays hurt and the team still loses.
The only true “easy” games on the schedule are the two against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Some may say the same about the games against the Houston Texans, but the team has indeed won a game and has looked competent throughout three games.
To be fair, the Colts did have two tough opponents to start the year in the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams.
A potentially significant development in Indy… https://t.co/8v5wM8EI4O
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 24, 2021
Yet there are no excuses to be made and the team must win Sunday if they want to keep legitimate playoff hopes alive in a stacked AFC.
The Risks Of Playing Hurt
Wentz has a long list of injuries suffered during his still young NFL career and Colts fans had to be wary of this happening when the team acquired him.
Ankle injuries are not his fault, but it always seems to be something with the quarterback.
The frustrating part is that he has looked great when healthy.
However, that is the key point as he has only played two full NFL seasons since entering the league in 2016.
The Colts now have him through at least 2022, with the potential of going through 2024.
The question of going beyond 2022 is because his dead cap drops to $0 starting in 2023.
The point being that the team will want him to be healthy and around for the next two years.
Playing him hurt now with the mindset of a must-win could cause long-term damage at the start of his tenure.
There is no easy answer for Frank Reich and the Colts in this scenario.
Playing Wentz could lead to further injuries, or even extra mistakes because he is not at full strength.
Not playing him could mean the team stands no chance of taking down the Titans.
No team wants to be in this scenario and Philadelphia Eagles fans have to be looking on from afar understanding the pain in Indy.