Colts bench Matt Ryan; Sam Ehlinger to take over as starter


The Matt Ryan era in Indianapolis is already over.

Colts head coach Frank Reich announced on Monday that second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger would start for Indy in Week 8.

Ryan is dealing with a shoulder sprain and will not practice this week, which thrusts veteran Nick Foles into the backup quarterback spot behind Ehlinger. Even when Ryan is back to health, head coach Frank Reich suggested Ehlinger will maintain the starting job.

"Right now the move is for Sam to be the starter for the rest of the season," Reich told reporters Monday.

The Colts traded for Ryan this offseason, sending a third-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for the 37-year-old veteran. He is owed $24.7 million fully guaranteed this season and $12 million fully guaranteed in 2023.

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Through seven games, Ryan and the Colts have struggled to a 3-3-1 record. The former league MVP leads the NFL with nine interceptions and 11 fumbles. Indy lost to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, with Ryan completing 33 of 44 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

In Reich's five years as Colts head coach, the team has had five different opening day starting quarterbacks: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Ryan. Brian Hoyer also started for Reich’s Colts in 2019.

Now, Indy will turn to Ehlinger for their upcoming home game against the Washington Commanders. The Texas product was drafted in the sixth round (No. 218 overall) in 2021. He’s yet to attempt a regular season pass in the NFL, but he had four touchdowns and zero interceptions in three preseason games this year.

After facing the Commanders at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 8, the Colts hit the road to face the New England Patriots in Week 9 and the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10.

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