The Indianapolis Colts‘ 2021 season was feared to be over after Carson Wentz went under the knife to remove a piece of bone in is foot.
Though a little dramatic, those fears were justified. Not only was Wentz given a 5-12 week recovery timetable, but the Colts’ backup options, Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger, have yet to throw a snap in the NFL and probably aren’t ready to run the offense.
Given that the Colts’ first five games come against the Seahawks, Rams, Titans, Dolphins and Ravens, each of whom posted double-digit wins in 2020, you’d be hard-pressed to picture a scenario where Indy came out of that stretch not buried in the standings.
With Wentz in the picture, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
Well, it might be time for fans to start getting their hopes up, because Wentz was spotted at Tuesday’s practice without a boot or a limp (!) just days after surgery.
Following up on that surprising footage, NFL insider Chris Mortensen reported Wentz and Quenton Nelson are both trending in the direction to suit up for Week 1.
Colts QB Carson Wentz seems to be ahead of schedule in his recovery.
Everybody stop and think about what might’ve been if Wentz hadn’t opted for surgery. Before the operation, reports indicated the former No. 2 overall pick was considering rest and rehab over following through on the procedure. In other words, he was leaving the door open for the injury to linger throughout the season and beyond.
Assuming his foot surgery was successful, Wentz should have no restrictions upon being activated. It’s still doubtful that he’ll be able to participate in the preseason, but this update is probably the best-case scenario given where fans’ minds were this time last week.
If there’s one downside (if you can even call it that) to Wentz returning earlier than expected, however, it lies in that he’s actually helping his former team.
If the North Dakota State product plays at least 75% of the offensive snaps or plays 70% of the snaps and Indianapolis reaches the playoffs, the conditional 2022 second-round pick the Colts coughed up to acquire him this offseason will become a first-rounder.
That’s really the only caveat here, but it goes without saying fans would much rather see the Eagles, for as much as they were responsible for Wentz’s fall from grace, swipe a first-round pick from the Colts than watch Wentz miss significant time and spare Indy a first-rounder.
We’d still like to see Wentz clear more hurdles before we fully buy into the notion that he’ll start the regular season opener, but this was a huge step in the right direction.