Jacob Eason Takes the QB Reins After Colts Lose Wentz to Injury

The former Husky was bidding for the backup job. Now he needs to step up even more.
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Jacob Eason took over as the Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback on Friday after the NFL franchise lost Carson Wentz indefinitely to a foot injury, bringing all sorts of questions and concerns.

Is Eason, who has no NFL game experience to speak of after joining the Colts last year as a fourth-round draft pick from the University of Washington, up for the task?

Will Wentz, acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles, come back any time soon?

Who will be the starter when the Colts open the season at home against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, September 12?

Eason, Wentz, rookie Sam Ehlinger or some veteran quarterback signed on the fly?

The former Husky entered training camp vying with Ehlinger, who was drafted from Texas, for the back-up job.

Eason reportedly experienced a less than-impressive first practice on Wednesday, but threw much better the following day, when Wentz felt a twinge in his foot when he planted on a rollout and went out.

The 6-foot-6, 231-pound Eason from Lake Stevens, Washington, always has had noteworthy physical tools, his potential enhanced further when Philip Rivers, last year's Colts starter, took one look at a pass he delivered and made the following declaration.

"He threw one the other day in individuals that I just shook my head a little bit and said, 'I can't do that. I can't make that throw.' "

The drawback to Eason has been his decision-making under fire, which will hang with him until he shows otherwise. 

Even last week, a former UW and NFL defensive back considered Eason for a moment and offered this take on the guy, "I wasn't real big on him. I would have loved to have played against him."

He explained how Eason noticeably telegraphed his throws at the UW.

The Colts are hoping that having the big quarterback with the franchise for a year has enabled him to mature as a quarterback. 

"He's getting better every day," Indy offensive coordinator Brady said about Eason. "Biggest thing, we want to continue getting him reps."

Meantime, Indianapolis fans are nonplussed over the quarterback situation that has been unsettled for multiple seasons since Andrew Luck retired after an injury filled career.

A year ago, Eason wasn't able to attend any mini-camps or play in the preseason because all of it was canceled by the pandemic. He was left to watch Rivers, who retired, and Jacoby Brissett, who wasn't resigned, handle themselves as veterans.

Eason finally drew his first reps in recent months and seemed to do OK, showing a strong desire to improve himself and be critiqued.

“You could tell he just wanted to get better," Brady said. "He was just excited about getting all of these reps and having to make all the decisions, both pre-snap and post-snap decisions, and watch the film the next day and make those corrections."

It's been a tough camp for the Colts so far. Before losing Wentz, coach Frank Reich tested positive for COVID-19, even while being vaccinated, and is quarantining at home, unable to return to camp until Monday at the earliest. 

Also, Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly hyperextended his left elbow after colliding with running back Marlon Mack and could miss a couple of weeks. Eason currently is taking snaps from journeyman Danny Pinter.

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