NFL
August 2, 2021

5 Quarterbacks Colts Should Target Following Carson Wentz Injury, Ranked

Carson Wentz, the oft-injured quarterback the Indianapolis Colts acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia Eagles, is — you guessed it — hurt once again. 

This time, Wentz will go under the knife to have a bone taken out of his foot from an injury that dates back to his high school days. He’ll miss between five and 12 weeks, which puts Wentz at risk to miss either the beginning of the season or nearly half the campaign. 

That puts the Colts’ season in jeopardy before it’s even started. Unless the Colts somehow procure a passer since second-year quarterback Jacob Eason probably isn’t the answer if Indianapolis wants to make a playoff run. 

Who should the Colts target? We’ve ranked the five QBs who could be ideal fits while Wentz is on the mend. 

5. Jimmy Garoppolo

The 49ers’ “starting” quarterback might be the best player on this list, but he’s also the most expensive — which makes him the least likely candidate to join Indy. 

While Jimmy Garoppolo is set to have a cap hit of $26.5 million in 2020, he’d potentially be an upgrade over Wentz and possibly a longer-term answer at the position. 

Garoppolo could keep the Colts afloat and then have an in-season QB competition when Wentz is healthy. 

The problem with Jimmy G — other than his outrageous salary — is that he’s also injury prone just like Wentz. There’s no reason to give up valuable draft capital and pay that kind of money for a guy who could get injured just as easily as Wentz. 

4. Mitchell Trubisky

The Bears’ QB bust will pocket just $2.5 million backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo which makes him an affordable option as a short-term starter while Wentz recovers. 

Trubisky has been an incredible disappointment while in the league, sure, but he’s one of the better backups especially with his starter experience. Trubisky could use his mobility to at least make the Colts watchable while relying on their defense to keep them in the game. 

The Bills might not be willing to part with their backup QB, especially with how recklessly Allen plays.

3. Gardner Minshew

There might not be a more entertaining QB available than Gardner Minshew

Despite going 1-7 as a starter with the Jaguars last season, Minshew proved serviceable in his time under center. With 20 starts under his belt, Minshew would be a perfect bridge quarterback to Wentz and a player to develop for the future. 

Minshew would immediately make the Colts a lot more watchable than either Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger or Brent Hundley.

Would the Jaguars deal Minshew to a division rival? Probably not. Unless the Colts offer a draft pick that’s too good to pass up. 

2. Nick Foles 

It almost seems inevitable that the Colts will somehow find a way to add Nick Foles to the roster. 

Foles has experienced his biggest NFL success with Reich coaching him. The former Super Bowl MVP has struggled since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but as the Bears’ third-string QB, he’s available and a familiar option for the Colts’ coaching staff. It just makes too much sense. 

Foles certainly didn’t hide the fact that he is ready and willing to be traded from the Bears to join coach Reich and the Colts. 

Plus, it’d be pretty awkward to see the Wentz-Foles dynamic again, especially if the roles are reversed like they were in the Eagles’ magical Super Bowl run. 

What could stop this reunion? Foles still has two years left on his contract and the Colts would a nearly $8 million cap hit if he's cut after the season. 

1. Marcus Mariota

Foles might come with considerable cost, Marcus Mariota doesn't. 

The Colts apparently had interest in acquiring Mariota in the offseason before pulling the trigger on Wentz. And after restructuring his contract, Mariota will earn just $3.5 million this season. That’s a pretty good deal for a former No. 2 pick who shown flashes when healthy. 

In fact, Mariota played pretty well in his lone appearance with the Las Vegas Raiders last season. If healthy, Mariota serves as one of the premier backup QBs in the league and has the ability to make spot starts as well. 

At just 27, Mariota is worth taking a chance on. He’d be a fun player for coach Frank Reich to develop in Indy. 

Follow Lance Cartelli on Twitter

Photo: Getty Images/Lines Illustration