Frank Reich: Carson Wentz ‘looks good' and will start Week 1

Jim Ayello
Indianapolis Star
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The Carson Wentz era of Indianapolis Colts football will start this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Coach Frank Reich made the expected news official Friday afternoon, confirming that Wentz’s surgically repaired foot will not prohibit him from taking the first snap of the season this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks

While the moment of Reich announcing Wentz as the starter felt assured most of this week, it certainly didn’t feel the way five weeks ago. At that time, Wentz was one day out of foot surgery with a recovery window that spanned 5-to-12 weeks. 

Wentz is now poised to make his return at the front end of that projection, a testament to two things: his hard work and determination in rehabilitation and the fact that he never suffered a significant physical setback along the way. 

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That's the good news. The bad news is that between the foot surgery that kept him out three weeks and his short stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, Wentz has not enjoyed the benefit of much practice time. This week was the first time he’s strung together consecutive practices as a full participant. Fortunately, Reich said, his foot has responded well to the increased stress and he’ll be ready to go this weekend. 

As for the lack of practice time, “It’s not how you’d write the story,” Reich said. 

“But it can be a great story nonetheless. Carson is an extremely bright guy. He’s done a lot of work mentally even when he hasn’t been able to work physically. And when you factor in his mental capacity and ability to focus and to lock in and to be dialed since this offseason, that’s what gives me confidence.”

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Wentz probably already has Sunday’s plays sheet memorized, Reich added. Now, it’s just a matter of turning all that knowledge into instinct. 

“Going over and over it, playing it out, visualizing it in your mind, going through all the progressions, getting the call out on time, making the right checks,” Reich said before alluding to the advice he’s already given Wentz. “Just play the position and just be yourself. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just go out there and play a good football game.”

If Wentz takes Reich's advice and doesn't try to do too much Sunday, perhaps he can lead the Colts to their first season-opening win since 2013. 

Follow IndyStar Colts Insider Jim Ayello on Twitter: @jimayello.

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