INDIANAPOLIS — One month ago, coach Frank Reich praised Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacob Eason for a strong preseason, wherein the second year pro had “earned that spot” as backup to Carson Wentz.
On Wednesday, when asked point-blank if Brett Hundley is now the backup, Reich simply said, “Yes.”
Eason’s fall from grace, so to speak, is a puzzling one. He completed 41-of-62 passes for 389 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in the preseason, his first game action in the NFL. Not that those numbers are staggeringly good by any stretch, but the backtracking of the coaching staff, Reich in particular, in giving Eason a job only to take it away without a clear explanation as to why is not normal in the NFL.
“We’re happy with the progress that (Eason) has made,” is all Reich would say about the 2020 fourth round pick this afternoon. “We’re glad we have the quarterback room we have for right now.”
That room includes rookie Sam Ehlinger, who returned to practice Wednesday afternoon from a knee injury suffered in the preseason. The Colts now have 21 days to activate Ehlinger to the 53-man roster or he will be out or the entire season.
Ehlinger pushed Eason for the backup QB job throughout training camp, but now it is Brett Hundley who has taken over. A veteran and former backup of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, Hundley has played in 18 games in his NFL career with a 3-6 record as a starter. His nine career touchdowns to 13 interceptions and career completion percentage of 59.1% led Reich to respond to a statement about Hundley’s experience in the league being not any good.
“That might be your opinion,” he explained, “but our opinion is right now he’s done a good job for us, and we’re comfortable with him. We believe that he’s continued to get better in camp and earned the spot that he has right now.”
Earned that spot. We’ve heard that before from Reich. Maybe next month, someone else will have earned it too.