Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger, the former University of Texas star who has been bidding for NFL playing time this summer despite being just a rookie, exited the team's preseason finale against the Detroit Lions with a knee injury and did not return.
"It didn't look good," Colts coach Frank Reich said of the injury and its potential seriousness.
Then, later Saturday afternoon, reports surfaced of the prognosis of Ehlinger's injury, with the former Longhorn set to miss 5-6 weeks with a knee sprain.
Jacob Eason will now assume the starting role, should Carson Wentz be unavailable week one.
The rookie Ehlinger was 3-of-3 for 63 yards before exiting the game.
Ehlinger, a sixth-round pick, has been in competition with Jacob Eason for the No. 2 QB job behind Carson Wentz, the Colts' high-profile trade acquisition from the Philadelphia Eagles. And Wentz has been battling a foot injury himself, leaving Ehlinger even more time to possibly even serve as Indy's No. 1 QB should he excel over Easton.
Indeed, even in this game, before forced to leave due to injury, Ehlinger executed a series of highlights, including a second-quarter play during which he cleverly escaped the rush and unleashed a deep ball to teammate Dezmon Patmon for a 60-yard gain.
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The Colts defeated the Lions 27-17, completing their first undefeated preseason since 1994. Wentz did not play in the game but is optimistic he will be ready for Week 1 of the NFL regular season.
With Wentz not totally ready and with Ehlinger out, the Colts opted to make sure Eason is healthy for Week 1 by having Brett Hundley finish the game and handle mop-up duty.
Ideally, it would have been a good time for Ehlinger to get more reps, even if he is destined to just be the Colts' No. 3 guy. But for now? It's more about an injury than it is about a competition.
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