© Robert Scheer/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC
What began as an offseason of hope is turning into a training camp nightmare for the Indianapolis Colts. Having traded with the Philadelphia Eagles to reunite Carson Wentz with head coach Frank Reich, their regular-season reunion will have to wait, with the quarterback suffering a foot injury that required surgery to repair — sidelining him for a projected 5-12 weeks. And Wentz isn’t the only key offensive player now battling a foot injury, with three-time All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson leaving practice on Monday after his foot was stepped on, and he showed up on Tuesday wearing a boot.
That’s not the worst of it, however, because it’s being said that Nelson suffered the same injury as Wentz — the team announced — and will now undergo the same procedure. This means, like Wentz, Nelson will be sidelined for a projected 5-12 weeks, per Mike Wells of ESPN. So with the regular season not far off, there’s a chance the Colts will be without both their starting QB and arguably the best guard in all of football, and potentially for several games, depending on how each heals from their respective injury.
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Needless to say, these are massive blows for a Colts team that was viewed as a front runner to challenge for the AFC South crown, but suddenly is seen as anything but. It could also rightfully be argued that the loss of Nelson is even more damaging than losing Wentz, considering the latter has yet to take a regular-season snap for Indy, while the former could’ve at least made things much easier for an inexperienced corps of backup quarterbacks that include Jacob Eason, rookie fifth-round pick Sam Ehlinger and newly signed veteran Brett Hundley.
Nelson, a former No. 6 overall pick who has earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in each of his three NFL seasons, hasn’t missed a single game since joining the Colts in 2018. As Eason and Co. try to keep the team’s offense above water until further notice, they’ll have to do so with backup linemen Chris Reed and Will Holden protecting them, barring a decision by Reich to also rotate backup right guards Danny Pinter and rookie seventh-round pick Will Fries to left of center for assistance.
The Colts don’t have a lot of time to figure it all out, but figure it all out they must.