Colts: Will Carson Wentz be ready for Week 1 despite return from COVID list?

WESTFIELD, INDIANA - JULY 29: Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
WESTFIELD, INDIANA - JULY 29: Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts were planning to go into the season with Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback, but thanks to some residual bad luck that appears to have followed him over from his days with the Philadelphia Eagles, we still don’t have a definitive answer on that front.

Wentz had a foot injury that sidelined him for the entire preseason, forcing backups Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger to compete for the No. 2 job in his stead. While he returned to full health, a stint on the COVID-19 list followed soon thereafter.

Wentz was activated on Thursday, meaning that he could in theory start in Week 1 against the Seahawks if everything goes as planned. However, considering all of the obstacles that he has faced over the offseason, it isn’t a given that he will be out there for the opener.

As Zak Keefer of The Athletic notes, GM Chris Ballard didn’t commit to Wentz starting the Seattle game because he’s gone through such a limited amount of on-field prep work. Is there a chance that Wentz will sit out the first game until he gets fully up to speed and comfortable in Reich’s offense?

Is Carson Wentz going to start for the Colts?

Ballard said this less than 24 hours before Wentz was cleared to return, which he probably knew was happening, so these comments have to hold some weight, right?

While Wentz will likely have some familiarity with the concepts Reich wants to lean on thanks to their time in Philadelphia, that’s by no means a reason to assume he can just hop right into a game against a team like Seattle with so few 11v11 snaps this offseason.

Essentially, Wentz will have all of one week to prepare, and he’ll be doing so alongside a roster that’s saddled with injuries, being forced to play rookies and second-year guys in prominent roles … as well as veterans like Ryan Kelly and Zach Pascal who are also returning from the COVID list.

Still, considering that Wentz has Pro Bowl pedigree and Eason making his first career start against Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner, and a Seahawks’ defense that finished last year on a high note is likely not going to give Indianapolis a better shot getting the victory, we can probably expect Wentz to take the first snap of 2021.

Despite what the lack of practice time may do to him, expect Wentz to be the starter in Indianapolis if all of his limbs are attached.