The Indianapolis Colts are desperate for a win, desperate enough to risk the health of the quarterback they gave up a conditional first and third-round pick for this past offseason. Carson Wentz gutted out a performance with two ankle sprains, finishing 19 of 37 for 194 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in a 25-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Wentz had limited mobility and was kept inside the pocket as a result. The Colts didn't help matters by not committing to the run game, and as a result could only muster one touchdown and were 3 of 12 on third down. Indianapolis was not able to generate enough points to beat the Titans and get back in the AFC South race.
How dire is the Colts situation at quarterback? Wentz was their best option to win Sunday's game, over a healthy Brett Hundley or Jacob Eason. Colts head coach Frank Reich had to risk his quarterback to avoid an 0-3 start, even if the long-term health of Wentz was at risk.
"I thought Carson did a good job understanding what his limitations were and playing within that. He's our quarterback," Reich said after the game, via the Colts website. "We felt like him at 70, 80 percent, whatever he is, is our best option to beat a very good football team on the road.
"We make a couple more plays in that game and I think they're there. I think they're there to be made by all of us — coaches, players. I think there's plenty of opportunities in this game, a closely contested game, to win that game."
Wentz was able to help the offense move the ball down the field, but his lack of mobility played a role in the Colts finishing 1 of 3 in the red zone. Playing Sunday was a major stepping stone for Wentz, who admitted he couldn't even walk earlier in the week as a result of the ankle sprains.
"Honestly, I feel like it was the grace of God that I was even able to compete out here today the way earlier this week looked," Wentz said, via Mike Chappell of Fox 59 in Indianapolis. "I am very confident just how quickly it is already from not even being able to walk the first two days this week to playing today. I'm very confident that we can progress this thing along and be myself."
Whether Wentz played or not, the Colts experienced the same result. Indianapolis needs a win soon, or the Wentz experiment will be deemed a massive failure.