Right now, it’s anybody’s guess who will be the Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback between Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley on Sunday, as both quarterbacks have been splitting 1st-team reps in practice:
With Andrew Luck already declared “out” for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, the Colts are in quite a predicament. In desperate need of a quarterback, both Freeman and Lindley signed earlier this week and have significantly limited experience with the team’s playbook and receivers.
When asked how the team would decide their starting quarterback, the Colts coaching staff reiterated that it’s going to be a challenging decision on such short notice:
"“Eenie, meenie, minie, moe,” joked Rob Chudzinski on Thursday. “That’s one way to do it, but no, we’re looking at the practices, evaluating, and it’s as much learning about them and what they can do and us putting some plays in that we think are good against this defense, as well as plays that our guys can execute.”"
"“So everything will come together in these next 48 hours will be big in terms of gaining a little bit of perspective of what they can do in the last couple of days and then what we have in the gameplan and of course, what Tennessee brings,” added Chudzinski. “Challenges they bring.”"
It’s a must-win game for the Colts, as the team has to win in order to keep whatever slim chance they have of making the playoffs–which can’t be stressed enough that it’s a significant longshot.
(Photo: Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports)
That being said, each of Freeman and Lindley aren’t just auditioning to become the Colts starting quarterback on Sunday, but likely also for a backup job next season. After all, these are two players that were out of football just a week ago.
If I were a betting man, I’d lean towards Freeman getting the starting nod. Originally a 1st round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009, Freeman has never lacked in talent and physical ability.
At 6’6″, 240 pounds, and blessed with a strong arm and some mobility, Freeman was supposed to be the Buccaneers next franchise quarterback, long before Jameis Winston came along.
However, he fell out of favor with the previous Buccaneers regime after making some unwise decisions that demonstrated his lack of maturity late in his Tampa Bay tenure.
That being said, if he has his head on his shoulders, Freeman has already proven that he can be a competent starting NFL quarterback. He’s thrown for 25+ touchdowns twice in his career, both in 2010 and 2012, and has 60 career starts.
Still only 27 years old, Freeman still has an opportunity to turn his NFL career around and regain his earlier career form, when he showed such initial promise.
Even the Colts, with a 40 year old backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, could be looking towards obtaining a long-term backup behind Luck. If Freeman plays to his potential, he could seemingly fit that bill.
What is clear; however, is that Freeman has worked hard towards coming back to the NFL. He hasn’t played in an NFL regular season game since 2013 and just recently played quarterback for the Brooklyn Bolts of the FXFL:
On Sunday, possibly starting behind center for the Colts, Freeman may finally get his shot at NFL redemption.