NFL News & Analysis

Colts QB Carson Wentz and LG Quenton Nelson cleared to start vs. Seahawks in Week 1

Westfield, IN, United States; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) at Grand Park. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

It appeared the Indianapolis Colts would be in trouble to start the season five weeks ago when quarterback Carson Wentz and left guard Quenton Nelson underwent similar surgeries to remove loose bones from their feet.

Now, with the Colts’ Week 1 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks one day away, both Wentz and Nelson have been cleared to start, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen Saturday.

Wentz practiced in full all week. Nelson was questionable to play with back and foot injuries but had “no issues” on Saturday, per Mortensen.

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Wentz's return should bolster Colts offense: Wentz is 11th in average seasonal wins above replacement WAR between 2017-2019 among QBs. While Wentz has struggled in recent years, he was excellent that last time he played under Frank Reich, notching a career-best 84.8 overall grade in 2017 (Reich's last season as the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator). Click here to find PFF's NFL player grades.

Nelson is one of the NFL's most valuable offensive linemen: Nelson has t most WAR by a guard since 2018 his rookie year (0.53 per year). The next highest is Marshal Yanda at 0.48. Wentz should be ecstatic that Nelson is also returning against the Seahawks, as Nelson has only allowed three sacks in his entire career (2,074 career snaps). Click here to find PFF's NFL premium stats.


Wentz isn't a must-play: Wentz has a QB29 consensus ranking and the same ranking in our fantasy projections, so there's no need to jam him into your lineup unless you have no other decent options. Click here to find PFF's 2021 fantasy rankings.

Nelson's presence boosts Jonathan Taylor: Nelson provides a boost to the Colts in the running game. In particular, it gives Taylor support for his top-10 fantasy projection for the week, as the Colts running game operates best when Nelson is opening up running lanes from the left guard position. Click here to find PFF's 2021 fantasy projections.

PFF's 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit includes links to every article, tool and chart to best prepare you for your fantasy football draft. This will be updated regularly between now and Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season.


Colts Week 1 spread correction: After opening as 2.5-point favorites, the spread completely flipped for the Colts, who now sit as 3-point dogs. The latest movement has dried up any value remaining on the spread based on PFF Greenline's projectionsExpect a higher scoring game than the market total, as the Colts' offense is the key to this game going over. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.

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