Carson Wentz’s injury will shape the future of not just the Indianapolis Colts, but several teams in the NFL. Plus, Drew Lock impresses those who matter most, and more.
The revelation that Carson Wentz will need surgery to repair his injured foot has dealt a catastrophic blow to the Indianapolis Colts’ Super Bowl aspirations, and Wentz’s recent injury has had far-reaching implications for the entire NFL.
“It’s an extremely unusual injury,” says Under The Knife’s Will Carroll to FanSided. “The sesamoid bone is a small bone under the foot and if we believe what the Colts said, this has been a constant topic for Wentz since high school. The normal mechanism of injury is a simple fracture, but because of the location and the way it heals, there is a concern that the bone will become necrotic. Therefore, doctors usually choose to simply remove the bone.
“The concern is that if the doctors are in there, they might find – lots of scar tissue, all kinds of nerve involvement, etc. So there’s a pretty wide margin for his return. If that’s an easy distance, it should be at the bottom of the timeline. If not, well, not. There is a good study that shows that top athletes come back after 7.5 weeks and I would say that seems very reasonable, but it’s an average. “
With Wentz expected to be absent on Monday 5 to 12 weeks after surgery, the Colts leave a team with plenty of young talent on either side of the ball, a dominant offensive line and a head coach who is able to bring charges against the Lombardi to an organization that may target 2022 to find their answer at the quarterback.
In an absolute disaster, Colt’s all-pro security guard Quenton Nelson suffered the same injury as Wentz and could be sidelined for the next 5 to 12 weeks.
All is not lost for the Colts, however, as even if Wentz’s timeframe comes closest to the worst-case scenario, he could potentially return against the San Francisco 49ers on October 24th.
Still, it seems unlikely that Wentz will star in 75 percent of the Colts’ offensive snaps this year if his return is postponed to October, meaning Indianapolis can keep its first-round selection in trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. If Wentz makes a furious comeback and returns in just five weeks, he could be behind the middle at the season opener, which would take off any disastrous results for Indianapolis.
But for the rest of the NFL? The butterfly effect from Wentz’s injury will be a storyline that colors not just the 2021 season, but potentially the future of several franchises:
As noted above, the Colts could be forced to tackle the first two months of the season with Jacob Eason as quarterback.
Some within the league believe Eason is showing great promise.
“I love this kid,” a current offensive coordinator who did a lot of work on Eason prior to the 2020 NFL draft, told FanSided. “He’s a big, strong guy, that’s for sure.”
Eason and the Colts’ first five weeks could quickly turn the playoffs into a pipe dream that opens at home against the Seahawks and Rams before heading to the Titans, Dolphins and Ravens.
“With the Colts battling the Seahawks, Rams, Titans, Dolphins and Ravens to open the year, all the games Wentz could miss, it’s no surprise that the Titans are now all-time favorites for the division to win, ”said Brian Giuffra, Vice President of Minute Media for Betting. “The Colts could be 1-4 or 2-3 on the way in Week 6, while the Titans, who play the Cardinals, Seahawks, Colts, Jets and Jags, could easily be 4-1.”
According to WynnBets, Vegas is experiencing the biggest upheaval in the AFC South as the Titans’ odds of winning the division have dropped from a favorite of -110 to +155 Long Shot.
Losing Wentz at Indianapolis could be a huge win for the Titans.
Tennessee could be the biggest “winner” of Monday’s Indianapolis nightmare.
The Titans’ path to a second straight AFC South Championship just got a lot easier.
Since Wentz’s arrival in Indianapolis via the February blockbuster with the Eagles – who were so eager to dump former No. 2 pick Philadelphia ate $ 33.8 million in dead money for it – that division has been considered a two-team race Urban Meyer and Trevor Celebrated Lawrence began trying to lay a foundation in Jacksonville and the Texans … trying to be functional?
Without Wentz in Indianapolis, there is a legitimate chance the Titans could lead the table with an offense that now includes Julio Jones, AJ Brown and Derrick Henry around quarterback Ryan Tannehill and finish 6-0 in the division game.
The Titans Super Bowl odds remain at +2500 after Monday’s news, but Tennessee is now an unaffordable -140 favorite to win the division.
Tennessee, with consecutive week 6 and week 7 home games against the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs (side note; isn’t that the most brutal stretch of games in the league ?!) divisions in football could now have a very real chance at No. 2 in the AFC to have.
It’s hard to tell if Eagles general manager Howie Roseman punched a hole through the wall of his office in the NovaCare complex or smiled at Wentz’s recent injury, knowing he didn’t really care anymore.
But the Eagles are one of the bigger losers here.
To recap, Roseman traded Wentz to the Colts in exchange for a third round election in the 2021 NFL Draft and a conditional second round election in 2022, which becomes a first round election if Wentz in 75 percent the snaps the Colts plays or 70 percent of the snaps and Indianapolis does the postseason.
Both benchmarks are now in real danger.
Before Monday, the Eagles were runaway favorites to trade for Deshaun Watson at some point. But now with two first-round picks hidden in the war chest instead of three, this becomes a more crowded field, provided the Texans quarterback ultimately becomes available and is acquitted of all wrongdoing in his 22 civil lawsuits for alleged sexual assault.
Much like the Eagles, if Tua Tagovailoa gets stuck this season, look to Miami to play for Watson either during the 2021 season or this off-season.
The Dolphins currently own the San Francisco 49ers’ first-round pick in 2022 and 2023, giving Miami three first-round picks over the next two years. With Colts first-round picking potentially not going to the Eagles in 2022, General Manager Chris Grier may now be in the Catbird seat of a potential Watson sweepstakes and be positioned to make the strongest offer.
New York Giants
If the Eagles are unable to trade for Watson, consider that a big sigh of relief for division rivals Giants.
The Giants have a top 10 defense and one of the most electrifying collections of skill players in the NFL, but they have a blatant question about the 2021 season and the trajectory of the franchise.
If third year quarterback Daniel Jones is struggling to maximize the potential of an offense that includes Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram, keep in mind that the Giants have two first rounds in 2022 – Own picks. their own and the selection of the Chicago Bears to invest in its replacement.
When Jones falters, the Giants suddenly become a team to watch in any trade for Watson, Aaron Rodgers, or any other time-honored veteran that becomes available.
From a jar at the AFC South and Super Bowl races to the trajectory of multiple franchises, Wentz’s injury will be a key act that will ripple through the upcoming NFL this coming season.
“I’ve seen both guys get better. This is the best version of Drew I’ve ever seen. He did a really good job. And I expected Teddy to come in. . . Teddy has experience, he has experience in several offenses. “
– Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur at QB Drew Lock, via Mike Kils from 9News.
If Lock continues to improve, the Denver Broncos have the parts to make some noise in the AFC.
Between wide receivers KJ Hamler, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy and pass-catching tight-end Noah Want, Lock has all the weapons to make a big leap in his third NFL season. And the Broncos defense has playmakers on all three levels. If Lock builds up to 2,933 yards with 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions for the second season, Denver could play spoilers.
As we mentioned earlier, the parallels between Lock’s situation in Denver and Daniel Jones’ with the Giants are strong. During his tenure as head coach at the Giants, Shurmur was a major proponent of Lock being a target of the 2019 New York Draft, and immediately recognized Jones’ potential after he was picked at No. 6 overall.
The pressure on Jones or Lock has never been so high, with only eight career wins each in the first two NFL seasons. And while Shurmur was relieved of his duties by Jones after the rookie season, the Broncos can take comfort in the fact that the 2019 season was one where Jones showed a lot of promise and potential.
Lock and Jones are both set up with dynamic supporting cast around them, and the Broncos and Giants this season is about determining if they’re the right quarterbacks to get the most out of them.
It might be time for the Giants to worry about Kenny Golladay.
Even before Golladay grabbed his hamstring after throwing a ball in his way during the seven-on-seven drill on Tuesday and carefully going into the locker room with a member of the training staff half an hour before the scheduled end of training, this was not the case a strong achievement for Golladay.
After seeing a handful of Giants camp practices in East Rutherford in the past two weeks, Golladay and Jones have fought mightily to get on the same page. Golladay has struggled with drops throughout team practice and individual periods, and at times he seemed to be third in Jones’ advances.
Now, possibly a year after a similar illness that held him out for two weeks last season, with an Achilles tendon injury to his side, and some members of the Giants organization must be concerned.
Listen, it’s only early August and sometimes a quarterback needs time to develop timing, rhythm, and chemistry with a new recipient, and Golladay’s hamstring has plenty of time to heal before the Giants at MetLife’s September 12th Denver Broncos host stadium. But New York has invested over $ 45 million, guaranteed to be invested in Golladay to make a difference and be the kind of player that not only enables Jones to jump into year three in 2021, but also a key component for what the organization hopes to be a championship long-term -caliber offense.
Golladay could still be that player for the Giants, he just didn’t play the role in the early stages of his New York tenure and now his injury only complicates things.
Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks every Wednesday. Email to Matt: Matt.Lombardo@FanSided.com, Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL