Monday’s NFL: Colts QB Carson Wentz out 5-12 weeks with broken foot

Detroit News

Westfield, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich couldn’t wait to start working with quarterback Carson Wentz on the field.

He’ll have to wait at least five more weeks — perhaps longer.

Just minutes after running his first training camp practice, Reich announced Wentz would miss five to 12 weeks with a left foot injury. Wentz was injured during Thursday’s practice and spent several days debating recovery options before scheduling surgery for Monday afternoon in Indianapolis.

“The next couple days were a discussion over whether we can leave it (the bone fragment) in there. We can leave it in there, try to manage it, see how it holds up over the year,” Reich said. “We wanted what was the more predictable outcome. It was like what’s the most predictable outcome? Let’s get the piece out of there and begin the rehab process.”

Team officials believe they’ll have a better timeline a couple weeks into Wentz’s recovery.

Offensive coordinator Marcus Brady said Wentz left practice early Thursday after feeling a twinge in his foot.

What doctors found, Reich said, was an old high school injury that Wentz was likely unaware of. They told the Colts that Wentz could play through the pain but Indy decided to play it safe.

Indy’s season opener, Sept. 12 against Seattle, is almost six weeks out. A 12-week absence would keep Wentz out of seven games.

“I’m always optimistic,” Reich said. “But just knowing Carson, I’m optimistic, knowing this is the type of injury you don’t have to be pain-free to play with. I know Carson’s level of toughness. I know he can play with pain.”

For Wentz, it’s yet another addition to an already long injury list.

He had surgery on a broken bone at the base of his right thumb in 2015; a hairline rib fracture in August 2016; a fractured vertebrae in his back during the 2018 season; and a concussion in January 2020. His best season, 2017, was derailed by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

And now after getting a fresh start with the Colts, Wentz suddenly finds himself sidelined again.

For now, Jacob Eason will continue taking snaps with Indy’s starters. Eason was a fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of Washington and has not yet appeared in an NFL game — regular season or preseason. His results through Indy’s first five practices have been mixed.

The Colts also signed veteran Brett Hundley on Saturday. Hundley has played in 18 games and started nine. Neither of the other quarterbacks on the Colts roster, Sam Ehlinger and Jalen Morton, has played in an NFL game.

Wentz’s prognosis overshadowed what was expected to be the day’s biggest story — Reich’s return. He missed all four practices last week after testing positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

“I feel great, I felt great the whole time,” he said. “I’m excited to get back.”

But Reich’s team is nowhere near full strength.

Two-time All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard has not practiced after having ankle surgery in June. Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher and defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo, a second-round pick in April, are both recovering torn Achilles tendons suffered in January.

Starting center Ryan Kelly has missed the last three practices with a hyperextended left elbow and three-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson needed treatment after being stepped on Monday. Nelson did return to practice.

And offensive lineman Julien Davenport, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and cornerback Xavier Rhodes all remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cornerback T.J. Carrie was activated from the COVID-19 list Monday — and, of course, Reich was back, too.

The biggest question Indy faces is whether its backups can play well enough without Wentz to keep the Colts in position to make a deep playoff run.

“We’re confident in the quarterback room we have,” Reich said. “I love Jacob Eason and these reps are invaluable. He has to prepare like he’s starting Week 1.”

Chubb inks extension

Nick Chubb signed a three-year, $36.6 million contract extension with Browns, an indication of the team’s regard for his skills as an elite running back and his quiet, unassuming leadership.

The Browns made sure they locked him up early in training camp as they head into what they think can be special season. He had one year left on his rookie contract.

The sides reached an agreement Saturday and completed the deal with Chubb’s signature before Monday’s practice.

Because he’s only 25, the two-time Pro Bowler could be in line for another extension when he’s 28, and there’s no reason to think he’ll slow down after three strong seasons.

Chubb has rushed for 3,557 yards and 28 touchdowns in his first three seasons. He gained 1,067 yards in 2020 despite missing four games with a knee injury.

Extra points

Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald are branching out, even as training camps have opened and the 2021 season beckons.

The seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and star wide receiver will host “Let’s Go!” a weekly SiriusXM Radio show. They will join Jim Gray in discussing what’s going on in the NFL, including, naturally, the latest with Brady’s Buccaneers and Fitzgerald’s Cardinals.

The one-hour show will air every Monday at 6 p.m. EDT starting Sept. 6 on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio (channel 82). It will replay every Monday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio (channel 88). After “Let’s Go!” is broadcast each week, it will become available as individual podcasts on the SXM App, Pandora and Stitcher.

… Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith is out indefinitely with a knee sprain.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was listed as week-to-week on Monday’s injury report, so his status for Philadelphia’s preseason opener against Pittsburgh on Aug. 12 is uncertain.

… Star defensive tackle Jonathan Allen was held out of Washington’s practice because of a tight hamstring.

Allen worked on a side field with trainers while the rest of the team went through the first session of training camp back at Washington’s usual practice facility. Coach Ron Rivera says he’s day to day. It wasn’t clear how Allen injured the hamstring last week when camp ramped up in Richmond, Virginia.

… The Vikings started their second week of training camp with a severe shortage of quarterbacks, with Kirk Cousins and backups Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley sidelined under COVID-19 protocols.

… Bills general manager Brandon Beane told the AP he is giving himself before the start of the regular season to negotiate a long-term extension with quarterback Josh Allen before putting off discussions until next year.

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