- The Indianapolis Colts are awaiting word on the severity of a foot injury suffered by starting quarterback Carson Wentz.
- None of the other quarterbacks on the depth chart have taken a snap in a NFL regular season game.
- In need of a more experienced option, the Colts have signed former Packers/Cardinals/Seahawks quarterback Brett Hundley.
It was inexplicable that Indianapolis Colts’ GM Chris Ballard went into training camp with no NFL experienced quarterbacks on the depth chart behind injury prone starter Carson Wentz. With Wentz suffering a foot injury of indeterminate severity, Ballard moved quickly to address the situation by signing veteran backup Brett Hundley. For now, the expectation is that Jacob Eason would move into the starting job in the event that Wentz is sidelined for any length of time but at least the Colts have a quarterback in camp that has seen live NFL game action.
Hundley has started only 9 NFL games though he’s clearly a well regarded player as he’s had a steady gig since being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He didn’t play in his rookie season but got into a couple of games in 2016 with 10 attempts, 2 completions and 1 interception. In 2017, he moved up the Packers’ depth chart to back up starter Aaron Rodgers due to his solid training camp performance. He was pressed into service in Week 6 when Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone against the Minnesota Vikings. Hundley would become the Packers’ starter for the rest of the season (9 games) and while he didn’t exactly tear it up he was reasonably competent in Rodgers’ stead with 1,836 passing yards, nine touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 270 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns.
The former UCLA quarterback has played only two games since (with Arizona in 2019) but the fact that he’s been steadily employed speaks well to his ability, attitude, professionalism and work ethic. After Hundley’s season as a fill in starter for the Packers he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks to back up starter Russell Wilson. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 and remained there as Kyler Murray’s backup until the end of the 2020 season. He had met with Dallas about a potential backup spot there when the Colts came calling.
Right now, Hundley is fourth on the depth chart. In addition to Wentz and Hundley the Colts have three other quarterbacks in camp but they don’t have single snap in the NFL between them. 23 year old Jacob Eason has been taking most of the reps in Wentz’s absence and quickly trying to get up to speed. He’s expected to be the starter in the event that Wentz is sidelined for the long term. Rookie Sam Ehrlinger out of Texas is next on the depth chart and behind him is Jalen Morton out of Prairie View A&M. Morton is a very sharp guy (majored in mechanical engineering) and has a Howitzer for an arm plus speed and athleticism. He was in camp with the Green Bay Packers last year but waived before the season began. He’s a project to be sure but has considerable upside though little experience. What he doesn’t have–like his teammates–is NFL experience.
The reality of the situation is that Hundley is the only one of the Colts’ reserve QBs that is ready to start even a NFL preseason game. Eason has a year in the organization and probably will be when the Colts host the Carolina Panthers on August 15 to start their preseason schedule. Ehrlinger could also see some action against the Panthers. If the Colts are smart they won’t go into the regular season without a backup QB with some experience. Hundley might not be the second coming of Lamar Jackson but he’s also a guy you can count on to show up on Sunday prepared and ready to go. Assuming that the Colts don’t want to trade for a quarterback (Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew have been mentioned) Hundley could be a valuable resource to have around.