Colts: Jim Irsay’s comments on Carson Wentz can’t be good for the long haul
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts‘ decision to trade for Carson Wentz was met with criticism given the quarterback’s lengthy injury history. For context, he’s dealt with some form of an injury every year dating back to 2016.
Instead of jumping on that bandwagon — though we certainly acknowledged the pitfalls of the deal– we expressed hope that the Colts’ infrastructure would help Wentz overcome his injury issues and career-worst 2020 season.
That’s been anything but the case thus far, as Wentz went under the knife during training camp to repair a broken bone in his foot. He somehow recovered with time to spare before Week 1. All good, right?
Nope. Wentz sprained both of his ankles on a tackle from Aaron Donald in Week 2 against the Rams. Though Wentz pushed to be cleared for Week 3, his ability to roam outside the pocket was entirely neutralized.
If you can believe it, Wentz’s injury struggles have already led to some frustration within the organization. While speaking to the media on Friday, owner Jim Irsay expressed some clear discontent with his new quarterback.
Colts owner Jim Irsay doesn’t sound thrilled with Carson Wentz.
Here’s what Irsay had to say.
"“I know he wants to go,” Irsay said. “I know how hard he’s worked. I know he’s respected in the locker room and all those sorts of things. But he has to stay healthy—no one’s hiding behind the M.O. of the past that was there. Since we came here and have been going through the months we’ve gone through, there’s been difficulties.“It also makes it difficult if you’re not vaccinated because it’s harder to depend on someone if they’re not vaccinated. They have freedom of choice, and we understand that, but we are hoping he can come back and play well. I think it’ll be a game-time decision.”"
Yikes. Those comments can’t be a good sign for Wentz’s long-term outlook, though Irsay could’ve attributed some of the blame to the offensive line, which was an atrocity in the first two games. It’s honestly a miracle that Wentz isn’t sidelined with a serious injury considering how many times (24) he’s been hit already.
A prime reason why the Colts traded for Wentz was because he’d be protected by their robust offensive line. While the injury-prone label has traveled with him to Indianapolis, we’re hard-pressed to throw too much criticism his way.
Having said that, Irsay’s comments on Wentz’s vaccination status are spot-on. You’d think a quarterback with a long history of injuries would do everything possible to ensure he’s available every week, right? By not being vaccinated, Wentz’s availability on a week-to-week basis is a true crap shoot.
You can tell that Irsay admires Wentz for fighting through separate ankle sprains to be out there for his teammates in a must-win game against Tennessee, but there’s definitely something bubbling under the surface here, which could put Wentz’s long-term future with the team in question. Remember, he was likely acquired for the team to see what he could do this year before they opted in to the remaining three years of his contract.
And don’t forget, there’s a manageable out for the Colts after this year, so this whole thing could be over before it even really started.