Carson Wentz has been cleared to start at quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener, effectively putting Jacob Eason in reserve for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Wentz, acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia Eagles, is coming off foot surgery performed August 2 that forced him to miss the preseason and left him questionable moving forward.
Eason, a second-year quarterback from the University of Washington who did little more than observe during games and practices in last year's pandemic-restricted season, appeared in all three Colts' exhibition games. He performed well enough solidify a roster spot as the No. 2 QB for himself.
"I think the bright spot for Jacob was that it wasn't too big for him, that he got in there and looked comfortable, looked like he belonged," said Colts coach Frank Reich, a former NFL quarterback. "We expected that but you never know until you actually get in there. I think he's earned the trust and respect of the team."
Eason last played in a game that counted against Boise State at the Las Vegas Bowl in December 2019.
Passing up a final season of college eligibility, the 6-foot-6, 231-pounder from Lake Stevens, Washington, was a fourth-round draft for Indianapolis, but he didn't have access to training camps, exhibition games or even significant practice reps in 2020.
This time, Eason completed 41 of 62 passes, showing great accuracy and decision-making in games against the Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.
"The reps were everything," Eason said. "Actually being able to go out there and A, learn from my mistakes and B, get a live view of what's going on and how all the pieces are moving and all that stuff, it was huge."
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