Colts face decision at quarterback

Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts have some interesting decisions to make regarding their most influential position.

And that would be quarterback. Not regarding Carson Wentz, but the pecking order behind him.

Brett Hundley has served as Wentz’s backup the previous two games against the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins as Wentz dealt with sprains to both ankles. But that required elevating him from the practice squad to the active roster each time. NFL rules dealing with practice squad elevations limit a team to two such transactions with that player.

If the Colts decide to stick with Hundley as Wentz’s backup for Monday night’s meeting with the Ravens in Baltimore, they first must add him to the active roster.

And that brings up the interesting decisions.

It’s entirely possible the team signs Hundley to the active roster and makes room by releasing a player at another position. That would have them carrying three QBs on the active roster: Wentz, Hundley and Jacob Eason. Eason was Wentz’s backup in weeks 1-2, dressed but was the No. 3 QB against the Titans and was a healthy inactive against Miami.

Possibly further muddying the situation is rookie Sam Ehlinger’s comeback from a knee injury suffered in the preseason finale at Detroit. He opened the season on the injured reserve list, but was designated for return last week and began practicing. The team has a three-week window to make a decision with their sixth-round draft pick: activate him, or leave him on IR.

It’s hard to imagine the Colts carrying four QBs on the active roster.

They’ve been adamant Hundley is the best option as Wentz’s backup. Coach Frank Reich pointed to Hundley’s experience, which primarily consists of nine starts in 2017 with the Green Bay Packers. He’s attempted just 11 passes the past three seasons and signed with the Colts in late July when Wentz underwent surgery on his left ankle.

Again, if they stick with Hundley and are convinced Ehlinger is healthy and decide to add him to the active roster, something might have to be done with Eason.

The most logical move would be to waive Eason with the intention of bringing him back to the practice squad. But that requires making him available to the other 31 teams.

Is that a risk the Colts are willing to take?

They clearly don’t believe Eason is ready to be Wentz’s backup, but they like the physical skills and potential of their 6-6, 231-pound 2020 fourth-round draft pick.

Stay tuned.

Listen to the Colts Blue Zone Podcast for weekly coverage and analysis of the Indianapolis Colts.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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