NFL

Frank Reich on Colts' QB situation, potential trade options: This is Carson Wentz's team

Carson Wentz’s foot surgery and resulting timeline have forced the Colts to consider backup plans. One proposed solution would involve a familiar face.

Four years ago, a Wentz injury left the Eagles in a similar position. In came Nick Foles, back in town for a second tour of Philadelphia duty, and before long, Foles was bringing a Lombardi Trophy to the City of Brotherly Love.

Frank Reich was there for all of it, serving as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017. He hears the suggestions to bring Foles back into the fold, this time in Indianapolis, but he’s also learned to get ahead of any uncertainty when it comes to Wentz.

“I’ll say a couple of things. This is Carson’s team first of all,” Reich stated Wednesday. “He’s our quarterback. We’re so excited about having him. He knows that, his team knows that. When we brough him here, we brought him here for one reason. He’s going to come in here and lead this football team.

“I don’t mind talking about Nick Foles. I love Nick Foles. He plays for the Chicago Bears. I haven’t talked to him, but I think he’s a great player. I think he’s proven that. I think he’s a great teammate — there’s nothing about Nick Foles that I don’t like. I think he’s a winner. He’s certainly a guy that fits our kind of culture, but he plays for the Chicago Bears. We’re glad we got the guys we’ve got, and we’re focusing on getting our team better, and I’m excited about that and the players that we have.”

Foles is currently buried with the third string on Chicago’s depth chart behind veteran addition Andy Dalton and first-round pick Justin Fields. His future in Chicago is as nothing more than a clipboard holder who might not even dress on Sundays, barring catastrophe, and he’s been open about this fact during Bears camp.

The Colts, meanwhile, have Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger and recent signing Brett Hundley available to play quarterback. Indianapolis is no stranger to being forced to execute contingency plans, twice replacing Andrew Luck with Jacoby Brissett before pivoting to a one-year honeymoon with Philip Rivers in 2020. They’re also familiar with swinging a deal to address a need under center, bringing in Brissett via trade in early September 2017.

The same could prove to be a solution for the Colts, who are looking at a window of 5-12 weeks for Wentz’s healthy return from surgery, which is also the same timeline for the return of All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson. It sounds as if Reich is holding out hope Wentz returns before that 12-week point, and is effectively avoiding irking anyone in Chicago or at 345 Park Avenue by pointing out that Foles is, in fact, a member of the Bears.

He might also be careful to not affect Wentz’s mindset with a threat of Foles again replacing him because of injury, and perhaps creating some uncertainty about Wentz’s status after he did something similar in Philadelphia by simply performing well.

For now, Reich is right: Foles is a Chicago Bear, and while he’s fond of him, he’s not his coach. It’s up to Colts general manager Chris Ballard to decide whether he’d like to change that reality, or move forward with the roster as it currently stands.

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