Jacob Eason hasn't appeared in a football game for 15 long months and it will be another six months before the NFL exhibition season begins, leaving him in quarterback limbo for nearly two years.
For now, the former University of Washington player turned unused Indianapolis Colts prospect is just trying convince people to take him seriously.
Since coming out of his inactive rookie season, Eason has watched Indy starter Philip Rivers retire and back-up Jacoby Brissett sign as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins, the Colts consider drafting for another QB with the 21st pick and ultimately trade for veteran Carson Wentz.
So where does this leave the former Husky?
Eason probably needs to be prepared for the likelihood that Indianapolis is going to bring in yet another quarterback, most likely a veteran free agent, if not a lower-round draft pick.
What it comes down to for the 6-foot-6, 231-pounder is he will receive the live preseason audition that eluded him at the height of the pandemic last fall and have a handful of games to show off his pocket presence and his accuracy rather than velocity.
It's going to be that simple in the unforgiving NFL: Eason will need to produce with limited chances or move on or move out.
And, if he stays, he becomes the new Brissett, a fireman on call, but not playing.
The Colts front office says it likes what it sees with the big guy from the UW with the big arm but it just can't be sure what he brings to the huddle until opposing pro football players invade his space and execs see how he responds to the discomfort.
To Eason's detriment, Indianapolis always has had the stability of a veteran quarterback such as Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Rivers, and isn't going to take undue chances with a fourth-round pick.
Last year, he wasn't active for any Colts games. He also missed organized team activities (OTAs), rookie mini camp and the preseason because of the virus, and he was forced to stay after practice to obtain in reps that didn't come during the normal workout.
So Eason still remains an unknown commodity. Hopeful, patient, rusty.
He has to be more than a little concerned that the Colts' front office seriously considered turning the team priority to drafting "the quarterback of the future," though it didn't happen.
To SI.com's Albert Breer, Indianapolis coach Frank Reich offered the following insights from his conversations with general manager Chris Ballard and owner Jim Irsay.
"There's no doubt Chris and I talked about that, and Mr. Irsay, the three of us have talked about that together,” Reich said. “That’s what you shoot for. So that's the vision. When Andrew retired, we were looking for that long-term vision, what’s the next answer? First, was it going to be Jacoby? Jacoby did a nice job, and ultimately as highly as we thought about Jacoby, we didn’t feel like that was the long-term answer. And then, obviously, Philip was a great answer, but just the short answer. And then he retired."
Eason's name apparently didn't come up in the conversation.
“Was it going to be a draft pick?" Reich continued. "Honestly, I think Chris and I were thinking, somehow we were going to figure out how we were going to be able to draft the quarterback of our future. And then this thing came with Carson and it fell into our laps. And that’s the great thing about it, when it works that way, it almost makes you feel like it’s more meant to be because you can’t make this stuff up and you can’t manufacture it."
Again, no mention of Eason, who's been working out in Southern California to try and stay sharp.
While Eason is just 23, Wentz is only 28.
The latter is the solution for now as the franchise quarterback.
Eason knew it wasn't going to be easy.
And it still isn't.
“Now it’s our job as a team, as an organization to make it work,” Reich concluded with SI.com. “And so, yeah, there’s no doubt we feel like Carson can be the long-term answer.”
That's Carson, not Eason.
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