After ESPN's Adam Schefter and Mike Wells initially reported Friday that Wentz was out indefinitely with a foot injury, Colts head coach Frank Reich finally added a layer of much-needed clarity for the developing story.
Breaking: Frank Reich says Carson Wentz had an old foot injury dating back to perhaps high school according to doctors. Over time, the broken bone came loose and caused pain. The decision has been made to undergo surgery and remove it. 5-12 weeks.
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) August 2, 2021
The recovery timeline for the Wentz injury is critical to the condition within the trade the Colts made with the Eagles for the 28-year-old veteran signal-caller. If he doesn't eclipse 75% of the team's total offensive snaps (or 70% plus a playoff berth), Indianapolis only owes a 2022 second-round pick instead of a 2022 first-rounder.
Schefter reported Saturday the Colts signed veteran quarterback Brett Hundley. The 28-year-old UCLA product was drafted in the fifth round in 2015 and has completed five passes in the last three regular seasons.
However, Reich showed a lot of confidence in former Washington quarterback and 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason on Monday.
Reich says the Colts are confident in the QB room we have. Told Jacob Eason, “It’s your show.”
— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) August 2, 2021
Eason took starter reps in Friday’s practice followed by rookie Texas product Sam Ehlinger. Neither quarterback took an NFL snap last season.
FANTASY FOOTBALL IMPACT
The injury timeline is short enough that Indianapolis is unlikely to trade for another quarterback, leading to Eason likely seeing his first NFL starts. This will likely negatively impact the fantasy production for all the skill players in the Colts' offense.
The Wentz injury could lead to more work by all of the running backs early in the season. Indianapolis will depend on the running backs in any game Eason is starting. Wentz is missing valuable time to develop chemistry with his receivers. Even if Wentz is able to play early in the season, they will need to ease him into action by relying on the run game.
It will also be extremely difficult for the Colts' already questionable receiving corps to overcome the most difficult schedule for wide receivers through their first five games. They simply can’t be trusted to provide any sort of value. The offense will most likely turn to the running game as the main contingency plan with Wentz on the shelf for the foreseeable future.
The same goes for the tight ends. Mo Alie-Cox was the most popular of the Colts tight ends, but he’s now a desperation play at best.
Betting markets have reacted quickly to the Wentz injury fallout. AFC South division odds are off the board after the initial injury news this past weekend vaulted the Tennessee Titans to the odds on favorites for the first time this offseason. Indianapolis at a 10.0 win total is a distant memory, with books initially dropping them by a full win on Saturday. Further movement is expected now that the timetable is more established for Wentz’s return.
The real betting value lies in the Week 1 game line, where the Seattle Seahawks were three-point underdogs against the Colts. This was discussed on the PFF Daily Betting podcast and should reopen with the Seahawks as a field goal favorite based on our PFF Power ratings.
This story will be updated as more information is gathered.