Jim Irsay addresses “difficulties” with Carson Wentz over injuries and lack of vaccination

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Colts owner Jim Irsay has had a string of bad luck with quarterbacks, dating back to the sudden and abrupt retirement of Andrew Luck. Irsay currently has a starting quarterback who is injury prone or, more accurately, prone to putting himself in position to get injured. Speaking at a Saturday night event, Irsay vented a little frustration about Carson Wentz.

In comments published by Fox 59, Irsay addressed whether Wentz will play in Tennessee after suffering a pair of sprained ankles last Sunday against the Rams. Irsay then deviated into a related, and controversial, subject.

“I know he wants to go,” Irsay said. “I know how hard he’s worked. I know he’s respected in the locker room, and all those sorts of things. But, you know, he has to stay healthy. You know, no one’s hiding behind the M.O. of the past. That was there, and you know since we you know came here and going through the months we’ve been through, there’s been difficulties. And it also makes it difficult if you’re not vaccinated, you know, because it makes it harder to depend on someone if they’re not vaccinated. So they have freedom of choice and we understand that. But, you know, we — we’re hoping he can come back and play well. I think he’ll be a game-time decision.”

During the preseason, Wentz missed five days after having close contact with an infected person. He spoke at length about his decision not to be vaccinated, but he never shed any real light on the substance of the decision to put himself in position to be tested every single day (missing a minimum of 10 days if positive) and to potentially be knocked out for five days in the event he’s in sufficient proximity to someone who tests positive.

The Colts are among several teams with a cluster of key players who have refused to be vaccinated. The fact that Irsay raised the topic shows that he and the organization have frustration regarding the obvious competitive issues it creates, especially when most other teams have all or most of their players vaccinated.

Separate from the vaccination question is Wentz’s propensity to be injured. All too often, he tries too hard to get more out of a play, putting himself in position to be hit. His right ankle sprain happened when he fought to extend things long enough to throw a pass. In so doing, Wentz found himself dragged down from behind by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. That event in and of itself entails a real injury risk.

While there’s no questioning Wentz’s toughness, he needs to know when to call it quits on a given play. Get down, throw it away. Avoid taking the hit. That extra yard or two or split second to try to find a receiver or whatever won’t matter if he ends up missing days, weeks, months due to his latest injury.

The challenge for the Colts becomes coaching that tendency out of him. The challenge for Wentz becomes incorporate that coaching into his game, or he won’t be playing quarterback much longer in the NFL.

27 responses to “Jim Irsay addresses “difficulties” with Carson Wentz over injuries and lack of vaccination

  1. Man, good riddance to Wentz from Philly. He isn’t a bad person or anything… he just… sucks. Odds at that 1st round pick sure seems slim.

  2. Call Andrew Luck. See if he’s bored with the early retirement. He’s probably healed up enough by now.

  3. Eagles used the 3rd round pick to move up to draft smith so worse case they get a 2nd round and smith for wentz

  4. The Colts traded for Wentz knowing he was not vaccinated. Maybe that should have been discussed before the trade.

  5. Wentz just seems like a knucklehead. He seems totally discombobulated during interviews, and tries to extend plays WAY too long.

  6. It’s clear once again , you don’t have to be very smart to make huge money playing in the NFL and Wentz is just one of many who prove that point .

  7. rockemsockemrobots says:
    September 26, 2021 at 9:23 am
    Man, good riddance to Wentz from Philly. He isn’t a bad person or anything… he just… sucks. Odds at that 1st round pick sure seems slim.
    ——-
    I agree. Luckily the dolphins 1st rounder we have is looking better each week for us.

  8. Wentz and players like him who decide not to get vaccinated are not team players. Even Aaron Rodgers was vaccinated…

  9. Eagles fan here who watched Wentz very closely for his whole career: the real problem with Wentz is he isn’t an effective pocket passer. Per Pro Football Focus, his passer rating from the pocket is backup quarterback level. He doesn’t read defenses well or throw with timing or anticipation.

    Where he does excel is when he throws from outside the pocket to buy time for his receivers to gain a lot of separation so he doesn’t need to read the defense or throw with timing/anticipation. For the first few years of his career, that was mostly fine because his passer rating outside the pocket was crazy high.

    But because of his shortcomings as a pocket passer, he NEEDS to extend plays to be a viable NFL starting quarterback. Now that he’s lost some speed because of all the injuries and continues to suffer injuries at an alarming rate, whether he can continue to play the style of football he needs to in order to succeed is an open question.

  10. It was obvious trading for Wentz was a mistake before it even happened, when it was still a rumor.

  11. Wentz is that kid in High School that got all C’s and became a Surgeon General. Then got their license taken for malpractice.

  12. The Colts fell apart at the seams. What they need is to gather the fellas for a team-building exercise, say, knitting another participation banner together.
    They still have the greatest play in NFL history, and that can never be taken away from them: The Funt. Classic.

  13. He wasn’t well liked in the Philly locker room…hard to see him as a beloved leader in Indy, especially now with the owner calling him out. Best ability is availability. Even if he is 100% healthy, you can not be with any confidence that he will play every Sunday due to him being not vaccinated.

  14. There is plenty of blame to go around here, especially concerning Wentz. I attended both Colts games. This highly-paid, highly-hyped offensive line hasn’t done their job up front. Wentz is running for his life. Horrible red zone success, especially short yardage. Ryan Kelly has his money, Braden Smith has his money, and Nelson is about to get huge money. Right now this line is more like overpaid and over-hyped. They haven’t done their jobs, either.

  15. Brittle, mentally and physically. But he has that pile of dough to fall on to cushion the blow. Game used to be more physical for the QB (in how and when they could be hit), but guys are being hit harder today (size and speed). Can’t fault a guy for fighting for yardage, but he also has to know he is brittle and act accordingly. Goff/Wentz/Watson are three worst contract extensions of recent time. Nowhere near enough track record to warrant any of them.

  16. just1an2average3sports4fan says:
    September 26, 2021 at 11:47 am
    There is plenty of blame to go around here, especially concerning Wentz. I attended both Colts games. This highly-paid, highly-hyped offensive line hasn’t done their job up front. Wentz is running for his life. Horrible red zone success, especially short yardage. Ryan Kelly has his money, Braden Smith has his money, and Nelson is about to get huge money. Right now this line is more like overpaid and over-hyped. They haven’t done their jobs, either.
    ———————————————————————————

    The o-line will magically play well again once Wentz is out of the lineup… Eagles fans have been through this time and time again. Youtube “Eagles Offensive Line Gives up Mid Play”. That’ll tell you all you need to know about what Wentz’s teammates think about him.

  17. bananas says:
    September 26, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Eagles used the 3rd round pick to move up to draft smith so worse case they get a 2nd round and smith for wentz

    ————————–

    Not true. They also gave up the #12 pick in the draft to get Smith. That pick was used to draft Micah Parsons, who last week was dominant with a sack, 8 pressures and 4 quarterback hits. If you lump those two deals together like you did, if Parsons ends up better than Smith – at arguably a more valuable position – the net effect is they gave up Wentz for pretty much nothing.

  18. loldeepball says:
    September 26, 2021 at 11:11 am

    Eagles fan here ….
    But because of his shortcomings as a pocket passer, he NEEDS to extend plays to be a viable NFL starting quarterback. Now that he’s lost some speed because of all the injuries and continues to suffer injuries at an alarming rate, whether he can continue to play the style of football he needs to in order to succeed is an open question.
    ……………………………………..

    Sounds like what happens to the majority of the ‘running QB’s’ in the league .

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