The Indianapolis Colts were a spoiled franchise with legendary long-term starting quarterbacks.
Since Luck abruptly retired in 2019, it has been a patchwork job trying to find the next generational quarterback.
The two had a great run together in Philadelphia when Reich was offensive coordinator.
It culminated in a Super Bowl victory that Nick Foles ultimately had to come off the bench to secure as Wentz went out with an injury.
Wentz is still young so the prospect of the Reich-Wentz partnership had Colts fans dreaming of Super Bowl championships.
There has not been a regular season game for the reunited duo yet, and problems have arisen.
Unfortunately, those problems are familiar ones with Wentz.
They surround his availability to play.
He is sidelined by injury often.
Exhibit A – Foot Injury
Wentz was barely in training camp when he was afflicted with a foot injury.
It required surgery with a recovery timeline that you could drive a truck through, 5 to 12 weeks.
This injury was a new-old one meaning he likely injured his foot years ago but continuing to play on it which aggravated it to the point of no return.
Breaking: Frank Reich says Carson Wentz had an old foot injury dating back to perhaps high school according to doctors. Over time, the broken bone came loose and caused pain. The decision has been made to undergo surgery and remove it. 5-12 weeks.
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 2, 2021
To his credit, Reich did not go into panic mode knowing that the season was six weeks away.
His young backup quarterbacks, Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger, took first-team reps to get ready.
In a strange twist of fate, the Colts got good news about Wentz and bad news about Ehlinger.
Spoke with Carson Wentz today about his quick road to recovery just a little more than 5 weeks after foot surgery. pic.twitter.com/SbNZ2tr8UQ
— Chris Hagan (@ChrisHaganIndy) September 8, 2021
Wentz would return in time for Week 1; whereas, Ehlinger suffered a knee sprain in the Colts’ final preseason game so he is now sidelined about six weeks.
Sam Ehlinger suffered a knee sprain and will recover without any medical procedures in about 5-6 weeks, per source. So if Carson Wentz isn’t ready by week 1, it’ll be Jacob Eason instead of Ehlinger.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2021
Exhibit B – COVID-19 Close Contact
In the midst of all of this, Wentz is deemed a close contact and placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The three players the #Colts placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list today — QB Carson Wentz, WR Zach Pascal and C Ryan Kelly — are all close contacts with a staff member who tested positive, per source. Back in five days as long as they remain negative and asymptomatic.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 30, 2021
Thankfully Wentz ended up being okay, but it just highlights the risk associated with having Wentz as a starting quarterback.
He spends a lot of time on the sidelines.
His injuries did not begin in the NFL.
Wentz has an injury history that dates back to his days at North Dakota State.
During his senior year in 2015, he had surgery to repair a broken bone in the wrist of his throwing arm.
He missed eight weeks while recovering.
There was also reportedly a stress fracture in his back at some point in college that was not publicly reported before Wentz competed at the 2016 NFL Combine.
Teams knew about it, but the public did not.
I'm told Carson Wentz also suffered a stress fracture in his back in college, that was in the medical report given to teams at the Combine. Obviously, it had healed & had no impact on his draft status. And having another one years later isn't career-defining. But it's unsettling.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) December 14, 2018
This injury came to light because he officially suffered a stress fracture in his back in 2018.
No matter how well Wentz performs in 2021, his proclivity to injuries, and major ones at that, is a lingering and ongoing concern for the Colts.