After a tough start to the 2022 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts are making a change at QB and giving Matt Ryan a permanent seat on the bench in favor of 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger.
Why are the Colts giving up on Ryan right now? Sure, he’s thrown nine interceptions in seven games and suffered a Grade 2 shoulder separation in the team’s loss to Tennessee, but he’s already thrown for 2008 yards, the fourth-best mark of any player in the NFL, and sits tied with Justin Herbert with the most completions league-wide.
Head Coach Frank Reich shed a little light on the decision in his comments to Ryan, which you can read below, as per Stephen Holder of ESPN.
“This is a point that needs to be made crystal clear, and I told this to Matt. I said, ‘Matt, we did not hold up our end of the bargain. You came here and we promised you a top NFL rushing game and we promised you great protection. And we haven’t as an offense delivered on that. And that starts with me.’ That was basically my message to Matt,” Reich said.
“We thought the marriage of Matt Ryan and his history with our running game, he’s had 14 years of incredibly productive quarterback play with great play-action. So, we thought there was going to be a natural marriage there. Given our crazy quarterback scenarios over the last five years, it wasn’t a move of desperation. It was a well-thought-out [decision].”
Reich basically said the Colts don’t have good enough infrastructure in place to win with a borderline Hall of Famer at QB, and expect a second-year pro with just 18 offensive snaps to his professional resume to survive the season without it doing irreparable harm to his career.
Colts QB Matt Ryan. Photo courtsey of Andy Lyons/Getty Images