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The Colts Are Benching Matt Ryan For Sam Ehlinger For The Rest Of The Season

The Indianapolis Colts fell to 3-3-1 on the season with a loss to the Titans on Sunday (their second loss to their divisional rival this season), and it was once again due to a dismal offensive performance from Matt Ryan and company.

The Colts, which traded Carson Wentz to Washington and then traded for Ryan after the Falcons failed to land Deshaun Watson this summer, were hoping for more consistency with the veteran Ryan under center. Instead, he has struggled mightily with turnovers, throwing nine interceptions and losing three of his 11 fumbles on the year, while accounting for just nine passing touchdowns in seven games. Indianapolis’ offense has been among the worst in the NFL, scoring 16.1 points per game, and in Sunday’s loss Ryan once again struggled with turnovers and could not do much of anything positive against the Titans, who weren’t exactly tearing it up themselves in a 19-10 win.

On Monday, Frank Reich made the official announcement that the Colts were making a quarterback change, benching Ryan — who is dealing with a shoulder sprain — and starting Sam Ehlinger against the Commanders. However, this isn’t just a one-week change, as Reich noted this is now the planned quarterback depth chart for the rest of the season, via

“Right now the move is for Sam to be the starter for the rest of the season,” Reich said.

Reich said it was an “extremely difficult” decision to change starting quarterbacks. But he said he’s been “particularly impressed with Sam this year in practice,” and pointed to the “special sauce” Ehlinger brings as a playmaker in the offense.

“It’s a big step but we think he’s ready,” Reich said. “This guy’s special. … Sam, he’s got that about him. He plays, he practices in a way he’ll be ready.”

Reich noted that the Colts hadn’t held up their end of the bargain with Ryan, as they’d promised a great O-line and great running game and that hasn’t been delivered, but moving onto Ehlinger gives them someone more mobile who can maybe deal with a worse line than Ryan, who has taken 24 sacks already this season and simply does not provide any escapability out of the pocket.