The Indianapolis Colts decided to bench Matt Ryan and it’s becoming clear that not everyone on the team is a fan of that decision.
On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Colts were in the facility for media availability for the first time since Indy announced that Matt Ryan would be benched and Sam Ehlinger would be starting for the remainder of the season. Obviously, that topic dominated all of the players’ interviews, and just about everyone, including Ryan and Ehlinger, spoke on it. Through all of the interviews, it became clear that the move was just as shocking to the locker room as it was to the rest of the world.
The player who had the most interesting quotes was center Ryan Kelly. Kelly is the man that starts every play with the quarterback and he always builds strong bonds with the QBs he’s playing with. Unfortunately for Kelly, he has been playing with a different quarterback every year for the last five seasons, and now that total is being added to. Kelly didn’t hide his disappointment with that fact admitting, “I have no choice but to get close to these guys. (My) locker’s next to ’em. It’s been the case ever since I got here. So, yeah, that sucks. Sucks big time.”
When asked specifically about the change and if he was surprised by the move, Kelly reserved most of his thoughts saying, “I think everybody’s got their own opinions about it. I’m not gonna get into mine but yeah, certainly, I think there’s a little bit of surprise.” Although he didn’t say it explicitly, many assumed this meant Kelly wasn’t a fan of the move.
Colts players surprised by quarterback change
What Kelly said, or didn’t say, seemed to be the overall theme in the locker room on Wednesday. Players were shocked and disappointed, and some probably even felt that Ryan should still be starting, even if they didn’t say it. However, everyone made clear that they were also a fan of Ehlinger and were excited to play with him as well.
The best thing for this shocked team is for them to do better by Ehlinger than they did for Matt Ryan because a big reason why Ryan is now benched is that the Colts failed him. From Ryan Kelly and the offensive line underwhelming to other factors that hindered Indianapolis in the first seven weeks, Matt Ryan was playing in less-than-ideal circumstances and now he’s taking the fall for it.
If this season is going to get turned around, it won’t just be because Sam Ehlinger jumps into the lineup and saves things. The entire Colts team must elevate their game or they will be preparing for another new quarterback next season along with several other changes.