With the news of Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback Carson Wentz likely missing all of the preseason due to a foot injury suffered on Thursday, all the attention turns to second-year quarterback Jacob Eason, who now elevates into the starting role for the time being.
Though that may concern some Colts fans, this is an ideal scenario for Eason's development as the Wentz injury — though tough to swallow — allows the second-year signal caller to gain as many reps as possible with the first team, allowing him to speed up his delayed development after not having a preseason in 2020, and not taking a single snap in 2020.
On Friday, Eason received all the first-team reps in the team portion of practice, and though he struggled, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said the increased workload and reps are good for Eason's development as the Colts figure out what they have in the former Washington standout.
“Well, he definitely needs it and it’s good," Brady said following practice Friday. "He’s getting better every day, I thought he had a good practice yesterday. Today, was a little bit rougher for the entire offense, which was expected. It was a third down, so those are tough situations. (The) top offense in the league, in the NFL on third down is going to be 50 percent. So, it’s going to look a little rough on these days. There’s a lot of good coaching points, a lot of plays, a lot of good film to be able to coach off of in today’s practice.”
On Friday with Wentz out, Eason went into the driver's seat at quarterback and had a better performance than he did Thursday. Per Jake Arthur's Day 3 notes, Eason was 12-of-17 passing (70.6%) (H/T Kevin Bowen), including what was described as a pretty egregious interception to linebacker Bobby Okereke, who likely would have returned it for a touchdown in a real game.
It's very tough to try and glean much from training camp practices at this point, but any added reps Eason can steal in camp will do nothing but help him. The real tests will come in preseason games when he runs with the 1s, assuming Wentz misses the entire preseason.
“Well yeah, the biggest thing is we just want to continue getting him reps," Brady said. "There are plays that he hadn’t seen and this is his first time getting the live rep. He’s going to learn from it, he’s going to make the mistakes. He made some good plays, he made some bad plays and we just have to continue to grow and make sure that he’s improving and learning from those mistakes.
“It is a big jump for him, but I thought he handled it well," Brady added. "He was great in and out of the huddle. I thought he made all the checks correctly. He just has to see it a little bit quicker, but that’s going to come with reps. It’s a little bit faster for him not getting that live rep against a defense but he’s getting better....Definitely it’s going to get him more confidence because now he’s going to be able to envision these plays in his head, it’s going to make him think much quicker, it’s going to accelerate his vision so it’s good that he’s able to accumulate all of these reps.”
Have thoughts on Jacob Eason gaining reps in training camp with the Carson Wentz injury? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!