Colts bench QB Matt Ryan, will begin Sam Ehlinger remainder of manner

INDIANAPOLIS — With the Colts’ offensive woes reaching worrisome proportions, the crew selected a dramatic shift at its most vital place.

Indianapolis is selling Sam Ehlinger to beginning quarterback for Sunday’s sport towards the Washington Commanders, with veteran Matt Ryan sustaining a Grade 2 shoulder separation towards the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, coach Frank Reich stated. Ryan will not play or observe this week due to the harm, Reich stated, however he emphatically said that the transfer is meant to be for the rest of the season.

“Extremely difficult decision given the respect and admiration that we have for Matt Ryan, given what he’s brought here,” Reich stated Monday. “He is a pro’s pro. This guy is special. We all know at the quarterback position that our poor production on offense is not on one person. It’s not on Matt Ryan. But we also know, as head coach and quarterback, it doesn’t matter. I’m judged on wins and losses. Quarterbacks are judged on points and turnovers. We understand that’s how it is in this league. Matt will be a pro.”

Ryan, 37, threw two interceptions within the Colts’ 19-10 loss at Tennessee, the primary one returned for a landing by Andrew Adams. Ryan leads the NFL with 9 interceptions by way of seven video games. He additionally has fumbled 11 instances, dropping three.

In the meantime, the Colts are twenty ninth in scoring, averaging 16.1 factors. Sunday’s sport was the third contest this season by which the Colts scored 12 factors or fewer.

Ehlinger, 24, was promoted to the No. 2 quarterback over Nick Foles two weeks in the past. Now, the 2021 sixth-round choose will make the huge leap to No. 1.

“I’ve been particularly impressed with Sam in practice since the season started, the look that he’s given on the scout team, the quality of his throws, the way he’s commanding himself out there,” Reich stated. “Just the total package. I just think it’s the best decision for our team moving forward.”

Ehlinger was a preseason sensation for Indianapolis however has performed solely 18 regular-season snaps in his profession. He has by no means thrown a go within the common season. It is thought that Ehlinger’s mobility would possibly mitigate a few of the confounding points the Colts are experiencing with their offensive line, which continues to be pushed round by opponents, together with Tennessee on Sunday. Ryan, a pure pocket passer, sustained 10 quarterback hits in that sport.

“This is a point that needs to be made crystal clear, and I told this to Matt. I said, ‘Matt, we did not hold up our end of the bargain. You came here and we promised you a top NFL rushing game and we promised you great protection. And we haven’t as an offense delivered on that. And that starts with me.’ That was basically my message to Matt,” Reich stated.

“We thought the marriage of Matt Ryan and his history with our running game, he’s had 14 years of incredibly productive quarterback play with great play-action. So, we thought there was going to be a natural marriage there. Given our crazy quarterback scenarios over the last five years, it wasn’t a move of desperation. It was a well-thought-out [decision]. “

It will seem that Monday’s choice was influenced, at the least partly, by proprietor Jim Irsay. Reich referred to as it a “collective decision” however stated he, Irsay and common supervisor Chris Ballard had an hourlong dialogue late Sunday evening concerning the state of affairs.

“His vote is always going to carry [more weight],” Reich stated. “He might lead the way in some certain ways, but it’s really owner, GM and head coach talking through a decision of this magnitude.”

The Colts acquired Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons in March for a third-round draft choose. Ryan, the 2016 MVP and an Offensive Participant of the 12 months and Offensive Rookie of the 12 months winner, spent his first 14 seasons with the Falcons.

The Colts focused Ryan after transferring on from Carson Wentz after final season. The Colts have had a revolving door at quarterback since Andrew Luck retired earlier than the 2019 season. On Sunday, Ehlinger will grow to be the seventh quarterback to begin a sport for the Colts since Reich grew to become the crew’s coach in 2018.

The Colts are 3-3-1 this season, together with 1-3-1 towards AFC South opponents.