Matt Ryan’s short time in Indianapolis hasn’t gone according to plan. After just seven games in a Colts uniform, the team has decided to bench the four-time Pro Bowl selection and former NFL MVP, giving backup Sam Ehlinger a shot.
Ryan suffered a Grade 2 shoulder sprain, head coach Frank Reich told reporters this week. The injury, along with the quarterback’s less-than-impressive start, pushes Ehlinger into the starting role. And Reich plans to ride with the 24-year-old former Texas star the remainder of the year.
While speaking with reporters this week, Ryan said he was “shocked” and “disappointed” with the decision. Throughout most of his career, many regarded Ryan as one of the most prolific passers in the NFL. That’s not been the case in Indianapolis.
“There is a little bit of that surprise and shock at the beginning,” Ryan told reporters. “But it’s a decision they had to make. As a player, as a teammate, you have to move forward.”
Through seven games, Ryan has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns (nine). He’s fumbled the football 11 times, losing three of those. Ryan has also been sacked 24 times during that span.
Indianapolis sits at a disappointing 3-3-1 record through the first seven games because of the poor offensive performances.
Who is Matt Ryan’s Replacement, Sam Ehlinger?
Sam Ehlinger steps into a major role as the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. The second-year gunslinger played college football at Texas and the Colts selected him the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Ehlinger has appeared in just three games in his NFL career, taking 18 snaps. Leading the Colts offense for the remaining 10 games on the schedule can be quite the challenge. Though it can’t get much worse in Indy.
Because of the struggles the Colts endured with Ryan under center, Reich says the goal is for Ehlinger to lead the team the rest of the way.
“Right now, the move is for Sam to be the starter for the rest of the season,” Reich said.
During his four-year career at Texas, Ehlinger threw for 11,436 yards and 94 touchdowns. He maintained a 62.5% completion rate while with the Longhorns.
We’ll get our first real glimpse of Ehlinger at the NFL level on Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CT on FOX.