The former Longhorn was selected by the Colts in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft and was widely viewed as a developmental quarterback at the professional level. He entered training camp in Indianapolis with hopes of competing for the backup job to Carson Wentz.
Within the first week of camp, Wentz suffered a foot injury that required surgery and his timeline to return is unknown. Reports originally stated that Wentz could miss the first several weeks of the season, but it’s seeming more likely that he could be ready to return by Week 1.
Ehlinger quickly stepped up as a rookie and continues to impress when given the opportunity. He is now splitting first-team reps with second-year quarterback Jacob Eason, and it appears the Colts will roll with one of the two youngsters during Wentz’s absence.
On Thursday, Ehlinger continued his ascension and looked sharp in the joint practice with the Carolina Panthers. He completed 13-of-16 passes with three touchdowns. Eason also appeared to have a solid day and it’s still seemingly his job to lose. However, Ehlinger has made this a fascinating battle.
Jacob Eason today: 8 of 11, TD
Sam Ehlinger: 13 of 16, 3 TDs
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) August 12, 2021
The Colts’ three preseason games will be crucial for both Ehlinger and Eason. One of the two will likely have to play meaningful snaps for Indianapolis if head coach Frank Reich does not want to start Wentz until he is 100% healthy.
Take a look at Ehlinger’s touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. on Thursday.
Mid-season levels of toe drag swag. 👟 pic.twitter.com/FDHBsPzCcP
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 13, 2021
The Colts first preseason game will take place on Sunday, August 15, at 12 p.m. CST against the Carolina Panthers.