Report: Matt Ryan got some first-team reps this week

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
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Nearly three weeks ago, then-Colts coach Frank Reich said that quarterback Sam Ehlinger will be the starter for the rest of the season. Maybe Reich meant for the rest of his season.

Indications are continuing to emerge that Matt Ryan will play again. Zak Keefer of reports that Ryan got some first-team reps in practice this week.

New coach Jeff Saturday, via Keefer, has said that “this isn’t a closed competition by any stretch.”

In a week of head-scratching developments for the Colts, bringing back Ryan would trigger another round of fingernails on the scalp. Reich made it clear that it was an ownership decision to turn to Ehlinger, and Ryan’s contract creates a very clear incentive to put him in bubble wrap, if the Colts have decided they don’t want Ryan for 2023. If Ryan can’t pass a physical by the middle of March, Ryan’s $12 million in guaranteed compensation for 2023 would spike by $17 million to $29 million.

Earlier this week, owner Jim Irsay rejected the idea that Ryan’s status relates to his contract. Would it be crazy to think that Irsay has pushed Ryan back into the mix in order to prove Irsay is telling the truth?

If so, it’s a risky proposition. With Irsay not being as rich as other owners, his buyout of Reich could end up being compounded by a major financial obligation to Ryan.

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