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Previewing Colts’ QB Depth Chart Entering 2022 Season

With a former MVP leading the way and a former Super Bowl MVP as a backup, the QB position looks to be in good shape for the Colts.

If you are a football junkie like myself, one thing you like to do throughout the year is check on a team’s depth chart.

Depth charts can be both simple and deceiving. On one hand, they give a clear view of who the team views as the starter at each position. On the other hand, just because a player is listed as a backup does not mean they won’t be seeing plenty of action on the field.

While NFL training camps are not set to begin for over a month, the offseason moves are practically finished, and rosters have been formed. When players reconvene for camp, the pads will be put on, and position battles will commence as players fight for spots atop the depth chart.

The Indianapolis Colts are a team that will see plenty of new faces taking on major roles for the 2022 season. Some position battles have already been determined, while others will be up for grabs throughout training camp. The Colts are hoping this competition leads to improved play all over the field.

As was the case a season ago, it is time to preview the Colts’ depth chart as we head into the 2022 season. We will go position by position and discuss how the players stack up heading into the fall. The first position group to preview is the quarterbacks, where the Colts may have their best group in at least a couple of years.

Indianapolis Colts QB, Matt Ryan (2) runs drills during the Indianapolis Colts mandatory mini training camp on Wednesday, May 8, 2022, at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis.

Matt Ryan

2021 Stats: 375-of-560 (67%), 3,968 yds, 20 TDs, 12 INTs, 90.4 rating

Ryan comes to the Colts looking for a fresh start. After 14 years with the Atlanta Falcons, Ryan was traded to the Colts for a third-round pick after the Falcons’ failed attempt to acquire former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Colts had some luck on their side, as the team traded away Carson Wentz just a week earlier and had no plan at quarterback.

Ryan is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in the NFL. With 59,735 yards (eighth all-time) and 367 touchdowns (ninth), the former MVP has been one of the best in the league since he was drafted in 2008. After four straight losing seasons in Atlanta, the 37-year-old quarterback is looking to jumpstart his career in Indy.

The Colts have already been very impressed with what Ryan has shown this spring. While learning a new offensive system, Ryan has displayed great control at the line of scrimmage. Multiple players have spoken about how demanding Ryan is and how they embrace the leadership that he has brought in such a short amount of time.

Known for his accuracy throughout his career, Ryan has already shown that he can place the ball wherever he wants on the field. The ball comes out of his hands very quickly and on time, allowing his receivers to catch it in stride and turn upfield to get yards after the catch. In Frank Reich’s timing-based system, Ryan is a perfect fit.

The Colts do not expect Ryan to play at his former MVP form. However, Ryan has the best supporting cast he has had in years and a rejuvenated sense about him as he chases a Super Bowl championship. Ryan looks poised for a big year, and the Colts are hoping it comes to fruition.

Jun 7, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws a pass during minicamp at the Colts practice facility.

Nick Foles

2021 Stats: 24-of-35 (68.6%), 250 yds, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 98.5 rating

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When Foles was released by the Chicago Bears earlier this offseason, the former Super Bowl MVP was immediately connected to the Colts. He had voiced that he would love to reunite with his old coach in Reich, and the Colts needed a veteran backup behind Ryan. It did not take long for Foles and the Colts to get a deal done.

Foles has had quite a career. In his ten seasons, Foles has been the unquestioned starter, the backup that came in to save the Philadelphia Eagles’ season and lead them to a Super Bowl, and the third-string quarterback on a struggling team. But no matter the situation, Foles has been a professional and has done what was asked of him to help the team win.

While Foles had success with Reich as his offensive coordinator with the Eagles, he knows that his role in Indianapolis is to be the backup to Ryan. Foles will assist Ryan in prepping for the opponent each week throughout the season and provide a sounding board for his fellow veteran.

Moreover, Foles was brought in to give the Colts insurance in case Ryan suffers an injury. Even though Ryan has only missed three games in his entire career, injuries can happen at any moment in the NFL. Foles has plenty of experience and is someone that can be relied upon to lead the Colts if Ryan goes down.

The hope is that Foles never has to see the field in 2022. If he does, the Colts are confident he can get the job done.

Aug 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger (4) throws during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Colts Keep a Third QB?

The only competition at the quarterback position for the Colts will be for the third-string spot. The Colts currently have two quarterbacks battling for this position in Sam Ehlinger and Jack Coan.

Ehlinger was a sixth-round pick of the Colts in the 2021 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Ehlinger beat out Jacob Eason in training camp and was named the backup to Wentz last season. While Ehlinger hardly saw the field and did not throw a pass in the regular season, the Colts liked what they saw from the former Texas Longhorns star and his ability to grasp the playbook quickly.

Coan signed with the Colts after going undrafted in this spring’s NFL Draft. Coan played four years for the Wisconsin Badgers (opting out of 2020 due to COVID-19) and finished his career with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Coan threw for 3,150 yards and 25 touchdowns as he led the Irish to an 11-2 record and a Fiesta Bowl berth.

While Ehlinger and Coan battle it out throughout the preseason, will the Colts even keep three quarterbacks on the roster in 2022? Indy has done this the last couple of seasons, so it would not be a surprise if a third quarterback is kept. However, if the Colts decide to only go with two quarterbacks, they will most likely keep a third on the practice squad.

As we head into training camp, Ehlinger holds the edge in the competition. He has a year in the offense already, and his mobility gives him an advantage over Coan, who is more of a traditional pocket passer. Coan will have to prove he has more upside than Ehlinger if he wants to surpass him this fall.

Have thoughts on the Colts' QB depth chart heading into the 2022 season? Let us know in the comments section below!

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