Indianapolis Colts QB Trade Options In Wake Of Carson Wentz Injury
These are truly the worst kind of articles to write this time of year. As training camp begins for all teams around the NFL, you want to be writing about who is performing well, what rookies are standing out, and how one practice rep with no pads against limited contact means fantasy football stardom for your team.
But there is also an unfortunate side of training camp, and that is covering injuries that occur. Today’s topic is a doozie, as we dive into the current situation with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz; what is known about his injury, to this point, and who might be some potential trade pieces the Colts could have their eye on to get by.
In the first week of training camp during team drills, Wentz rolled out of the pocket on one of the final plays of the offensive series. When he planted to throw, he said he felt a "twinge" in his foot. Wentz sat out the rest of practice that day, and the following day, he once again was not practicing and was instead being evaluated by team doctors.
While the exact injury is still sort of a mystery, it has been reported that Wentz’s injury is a bone and ligament issue and that the Colts are preparing for potential surgery. If Wentz opts for surgery, it will likely mean he’s out for the start of the season, perhaps well into the regular season with the exact recovery time unknown. There is still a chance that rehab without surgery could be the right option, but parties on both sides are preparing for the worst.
If Wentz were to miss regular-season action, the Colts will have a decision to make. Prior to Wentz’s injury, the only other quarterbacks on the roster were 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason and 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger. Since Wentz’s injury, the team has signed Brett Hundley, but Hundley is just 3-6 as a starter in six years and has already been on four teams—not exactly a savior signing.
If it ends up being confirmed that Wentz will miss significant time, the Colts could look to make a move for a Band-Aid option at quarterback that would be better than the inexperienced options they have right now. Here are three quarterbacks who the Colts could have their eyes on in a trade.
Mariota, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, is a hot commodity when it comes to potential backup quarterbacks people want to see get another starting shot. The reason for this is because when Mariota came into the Raiders’ Week 15 game after starter Derek Carr left with an injury, he looked as good as he’s looked in years.
The price for Mariota might come somewhat high for a backup quarterback, and the price the Colts would be willing to give does get a little tricky since the end result of their trade to get Wentz hinges on how much playing time he gets this season. If Wentz plays 75% of the team’s snaps or if he plays 70% and the Colts make the playoffs, the Colts end up giving the Philadelphia Eagles a first-round pick in 2022. If he falls short of either of those marks, it is a second-round pick to the Eagles. So the Colts can’t just trade a second-round pick they might not have. That not only goes into the Mariota equation but other options, too.
A Garoppolo deal would be one of the higher-end deals the Colts could make. Remember, Garoppolo helped get the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl just two seasons ago. Since then, the 49ers have drafted quarterback Trey Lance to eventually replace Garoppolo, but it might not be something that happens right away. That might make the price for a proven Garoppolo pretty high for just a Band-Aid situation in Indianapolis.
On the other side of the coin, the 49ers did give up a ton to move up to select Lance this past draft. If the Colts offer them something decent in return, they might just take it. But that all depends on their mindset.
If the Colts want the best-case scenario, they should trade for Chicago Bears backup quarterback Nick Foles. I mean, look at what happened the last time Foles took over for an injured Wentz: their team won the Super Bowl. Not only would Wentz be a common denominator in this equation, but the more impactful similarity would be his potential head coach in Indianapolis, Frank Reich, who was Foles’ offensive coordinator during that Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017.
With Foles as QB3 in Chicago, he is expendable for them. All former Eagles situation jokes aside, this is probably the best option the Colts will find, both for the price and the situation of who they would be getting in return to help them keep the ship afloat while Wentz recovers.