The Colts claimed when Sam Ehlinger took over as their starting quarterback that it was for the rest of the season, but newly arrived interim head coach Jeff Saturday went back to Matt Ryan for Sunday’s win over the Raiders. Saturday said there was no doubt in his mind that was the right call.
“I knew what I was going to do,” Saturday said. “Matt gave us the best chance to win. And I had the conversation with Sam, who was a true pro.”
Saturday said that as soon as he showed up as interim head coach last week, it was clear that Ryan was good to go.
“I saw Matt throw, and that was the first time I had seen him throw, he’s coming off an injury and he put a good practice together on Thursday,” Saturday said. “This was my first experience really ever seeing him throw and he looked really good.”
Still, it’s always been clear that Ryan gave the Colts the best chance to win — and that if Ryan couldn’t go, backup Nick Foles is more ready to lead an NFL offense than Ehlinger is. So why was there ever even a question about playing Ehlinger, let alone a declaration that Ehlinger was the starter for the rest of the season?
The widespread suspicion is that Colts owner Jim Irsay was behind the decision to go with Ehlinger, and that decision — and the Colts’ offensive struggles with Ehlinger — may have cost former coach Frank Reich his job. But now Saturday has the authority to pick the Colts’ starting quarterback, and he picked the one who gave them the best chance to win.