It is very difficult to be an Indianapolis Colts fan these days.
There is so much talent on the roster.
Running back Jonathan Taylor won the rushing title in just his second NFL season.
— NFL (@NFL) January 12, 2022
The Colts entered Jacksonville in Week 18 needing to win to get in the playoffs.
On paper, this game should have been a gimme for the Colts.
They were 9-7 and in the playoff hunt, and the Jaguars were 2-14 with an interim coach and eyeing another first overall draft pick in 2022.
In the end, the Jaguars prevailed by the score of 26-11.
Going home at 9-8 and missing the playoffs should cause Colts fans plenty of concern.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 13, 2022
They should also be worried about quarterback Carson Wentz should the Colts bring him back for 2022.
Here are three reasons why.
3. Injury Prone Each Season
This 2021 preseason started with Wentz having a significant foot injury.
Breaking: Colts' QB Carson Wentz is expected to miss the remainder of training camp and the preseason as he recovers from foot injury suffered in Thursday's practice. pic.twitter.com/dzt0HecX9Q
— Indy SportsOne (@IndySportsOne) July 30, 2021
Somehow he made it back in time for the regular season only to sprain both of his ankles in Week 2 but managed to continue playing.
From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: #Colts QB Carson Wentz was in a walking boot following Sunday’s ankle injury but tomorrow will be a good indicator of whether he’s in line to play Sunday vs. the #Titans. pic.twitter.com/krs515IqR2
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 21, 2021
Wentz also contracted COVID-19 but benefitted from the loosened rules near the end of the season so he only missed five days of practice and no games.
He should be commended for playing 17 games given all of these injury issues.
That has not been the case in his previous seasons.
Wentz suffered wrist, back, and rib fractures during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, but his most significant injury was the ACL/MCL tear that happened in the latter stages of the 2017 season when he was playing at an MVP caliber.
2. Ability To Win Big Games Is Questionable
Today it was confirmed there is no way the @Eagles could have won that Super Bowl if @cj_wentz didn’t get injured. He would have blown it as soon as it mattered like he did for the @Colts. @NickFoles forever more valuable than Wentz!
— Ryry McRyan (@ryanwinning) January 10, 2022
His injury in 2017 sidelined him for the Eagles’ magical Super Bowl run that Nick Foles came off of the bench to orchestrate.
This means that Wentz has very little big-game experience.
He appeared in one playoff game while in Philadelphia.
A controversial no-call helmet-to-helmet hit on Philadelphia #Eagles (9-7) QB Carson Wentz by Seattle #Seahawks (11-5) DE Jadeveon Clowney headlines a 17-9 Seahawks win on Wildcard Sunday in Philadelphia. Wentz left the game with a head injury and never returned. #PHIvsSEA pic.twitter.com/THIAcWJvKX
— Charles Chapman Jr (@CharlesLChapman) January 6, 2020
Wentz suffered a concussion against Seattle in the 2019 Wild Card playoffs and left the game after completing one out of four passes for three yards.
1. Ability To Bounce Back From Jacksonville Loss Is To Be Determined
Football is as much a mental game as it is a physical one.
This loss by the Colts was devastating.
It is even worse than the Atlanta Falcons losing the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots after the enormous lead because the Colts were the overwhelming favorite to win the game.
Some fluke rivalries in sports never make sense; the Colts losing in Jacksonville is one of them.
They have lost seven straight games at Jacksonville with their last road victory coming in 2014.
How well will Wentz bounce back from a game where he could not get the passing game going?
Carson Wentz seems like he has a weak mental game. Wilted in the face of competition from J.Hurts in Philly, and couldnt win one of last two games to get into the playoffs. Reich has his work cut out for him with that guy.
— RagingGrover (Emphasis on the Raging) (@GroverRaging) January 9, 2022
Can he lead his team into 2022 by turning this loss into a learning experience and leadership moment for him and the team?
No one knows the answer to that just yet, but the Jaguars are in the division so the Colts know they will be headed back there in 2022 and must avenge the loss.