INDIANAPOLIS, I.N. (WNCN/AP) — Is this it for the career of potential Hall of Fame quarterback Matt Ryan?
The Indianapolis Colts (3-3-1) are benching their starting quarterback in favor of second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger, not only for Sunday’s game against the Washington Commanders, but for the remainder of the season, head coach Frank Reich said in a statement on Monday.
Reich made the announcement Monday after Ryan threw two more interceptions in Sunday’s 19-10 loss at the Tennessee Titans. Ryan has now thrown nine interceptions through seven games and has as many interceptions as touchdowns. He has also fumbled 11 times in this span, losing three. He leads the NFL in both turnover categories.
Reich also said Ryan suffered a separated throwing shoulder in the game, but that the decision to make a change was not fully injury-related.
He said Ryan will not regain the No. 1 role whenever healthy again. Reich also told multiple sources, including NFL Network National Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, that Indianapolis was planning to make a quarterback change whether Ryan was healthy following the game or not.
Ehlinger was a sixth-round pick in 2021, but has taken a rapid ascent to his first NFL start. He started his rookie season on injured reserve, but joined the active roster in October.
A strong preseason in 2022 put him in the conversation to supplant Super Bowl 52 MVP Nick Foles as No. 2 on the depth chart, a move Reich made before the Colts’ Week 6 game.
Ehlinger has appeared in three NFL games, but has never thrown a pass.
Reich said he was even more impressed with Ehlinger’s practice leading up to the Tennessee game and now he has moved past Ryan, who ranks among the NFL’s top 10 in career yards passing and career completions. His 59,735 career passing yards prior to this season are No. 8 in NFL history.
Ehlinger will be the seventh different starting quarterback Reich has used in his five-year tenure with the Colts. He added his name to the list of Scott Tolzien, Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz.
Despite the move, Ryan is owed nearly $25 million this season and $12 million next season fully guaranteed by the Colts.
Indianapolis currently sits 1 1/2 games behind Tennessee in the AFC South.