Colts take starting job away from Matt Ryan ahead of game against Commanders

Colts bench Matt Ryan ahead of Commanders game originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Because he’s on injured reserve, Carson Wentz won’t play in Week 8’s Commanders-Colts game. In light of some rather stunning news, Matt Ryan is no longer set to, either.

Indianapolis coach Frank Reich revealed Monday that he is sending Ryan to the bench in favor of Sam Ehlinger, a second-year signal-caller who was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Ryan reportedly has an injured shoulder, but Reich went on to explain that the switch isn’t tied to the veteran’s health. Instead, the team intends to roll with Ehlinger — who has yet to throw a meaningful pass in the NFL — for the remainder of its schedule.

Through seven weeks, no one in the sport has thrown more interceptions than Ryan, who’s given the ball away through the air nine different times. The 37-year-old has also lost three fumbles.

Indy, which lost this past Sunday to the Titans and only scored 10 points in that defeat, currently stands at 3-3-1.

Ehlinger, a Texas product, is regarded as a tough quarterback who’s capable of picking up yards as a runner. The Washington defense, which has done a nice job of limiting Ryan Tannehill, Justin Fields and Aaron Rodgers in its last three outings, will aim to make Ehlinger’s first career start a forgettable one.

The switch and the ensuing showdown between Ehlinger and Taylor Heinicke underscores how both clubs remain desperate for permanent solutions to helm their respective huddles.

Wentz — whom the Colts replaced with Ryan — is currently rehabbing a broken finger, which interrupted what was an unsightly opening to his tenure with the Commanders. But at least Washington can get rid of Wentz next March without any financial punishment; Indianapolis, meanwhile, would suffer an $18 million cap hit if it dumped Ryan.

Because of those two players’ respective struggles, two unexpected starters will face off with one another in Week 8. It’s now on Ron Rivera‘s club to take advantage of the Colts’ woes.

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