Tue, 19 Oct 2021

Carson Wentz returns to practice ahead of Colts-Titans

Field Level Media
25 Sep 2021, 03:19 GMT+10

Carson Wentz wants to play, but the Indianapolis Colts are unlikely to identify a starting quarterback for their Week 3 visit to the Tennessee Titans until gameday.

Wentz returned to practice on Friday. His status for Sunday remained up in the air.

Wentz is questionable with swelling in bothankles. A right high ankle sprain kept him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday with Jacob Eason and Brett Hundley getting work with the starting offense. Wentz said he can't recall ever playing in a game without practicing the week prior.

Head coach Frank Reich said practicing on Friday is the typical barometer for a player being active on Sunday.

Worth consideration: Indianapolis is starting a three-game road swing. A loss Sunday would send the Colts to an 0-3 start with trips to Miami and Baltimore to follow.

"Throwing kitchen sink at it trying to get healthy," Wentz said of his approach to the week.

Tennessee is 1-1 and enters after its 33-30 overtime victory last week at Seattle, which helped the Titans recover from a blowout defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals in the opener.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel shared his devil-may-care mentality when it comes to prepping for two quarterbacks. He said Wednesday the Titans view Wentz and Eason, who relieved an injured Wentz late in last week's game, as similar-style quarterbacks. Hundley took the majority of the first-team reps this week.

"I don't think there's a huge difference in the skillset. They're going to operate their offense," Vrabel said. "Their receivers are tough, they're physical. ... They have a lot of dynamic players and the backs can do a lot of different things."

No doubt Vrabel and defensive coordinator Shane Bowen have taken notice of the Colts' protection issues up front. The group has allowed six sacks and 15 quarterback hits in two games. Wentz was hurt being spun the ground by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

"That's not the way we want to play, especially up front," Colts center Ryan Kelly said.

The Titans have their own offensive line woes. Left tackle Taylor Lewan was able to get back on the field Wednesday after being inactive at Seattle last week.

Indianapolis knows All-Pro running back Derrick Henry all too well, having surrendered over 100 rushing yards to the bulldozer in three consecutive games. Henry had 237 yards from scrimmage at Seattle and has averaged 172.7 yards from scrimmage in his past six games against the Colts.

"That's what we've come to expect from Derrick. That's a large part of who we are," Vrabel said.

Henry sat out practice Wednesday after a career-high 35 carries at Seattle, but is not injured. Wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) was limited on Wednesday, while center Ben Jones (knee) and guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder) did not participate.

While the Colts sort out their quarterback quandary, the Titans are unclear of how the secondary might stack up on Sunday. Amani Hooker is on injured reserve and the Titans released Bradley McDougald.

Dane Cruikshank and Matthias Farley are among the options Vrabel is considering this week, he said.

Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (illness), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (calf) and offensive tackle Braden Smith (foot, thumb) missed practice Wednesday.

The Titans have won two of the past three meetings. The Colts lead the all-time series, 35-17.

--Field Level Media

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