Indianapolis Colts name Jacob Eason backup quarterback
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Indianapolis Colts name Jacob Eason backup quarterback

Article written by:James Fletcher IIIJames Fletcher III

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Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich has named former Georgia and Washington quarterback Jacob Eason the backup quarterback. The decision comes after his primary competitor, rookie Sam Ehlinger, was diagnosed with a knee sprain which will hold him out for five to six weeks.

“Jacob has earned that spot,” Reich said, via NFL.com. “I think he’s done a nice job. Really happy with his progress and happy for him. Jacob’s handled himself like a pro.”

Eason finished the preseason with 389 yards on 41-for-62 passing with no touchdowns and no interceptions. The 6-foot-6 former fourth round pick took three sacks in the first preseason game but did not go down in either of his final two appearances.

Earlier this preseason, Eason offered his thoughts on the quarterback battle and detailed the mindset he tries to keep.

“My focus was one day at a time, one rep at a time,” said Eason. “Do my job consistently and not make the picture bigger than it has to be. Obviously, there’s a lot going on outside, but I just wanted to focus on the little things and do my job.

The Colts took Eason with the 122nd overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Last season, he was the third string quarterback, behind Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett.

More injury news

Reich also offered an injury update on the Colts starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who suffered a foot injury many feared would hold him out for extended time this season. Despite concern he could be out to start the regular season, the Colts expect Wentz back at practice on Wednesday.

Wentz’s Wednesday arrival would give him more than a week to practice with the first-team offense before making a decision about his availability.

With Jacob Eason locked into the backup spot, he would be the top option to make the Week One start against the Seattle Seahawks if Wentz is unable to go.

More positive injury news came out on Sunday when Reich suggested All-Pro offensive guard Quenton Nelson could return from the COVID-19 reserve list as soon as Monday.

Despite the return of two key players, the Colts are not back to full-strength yet. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will undergo an evaluation on his neck injury, which NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport believes could hold him out at least a few weeks.

A timeline for Hilton’s recovery is expected in the coming days.