Colts make radical decision amid Matt Ryan's struggles

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Colts make radical decision amid Matt Ryan's struggles

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich has announced that Matt Ryan is being benched and that Sam Ehlinger is the team's new starting quarterback. This past Sunday, Ryan sustained a Grade 2 shoulder separation in a 19-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Ryan, who leads the league with nine interceptions, threw two interceptions against the Titans. Ryan has also fumbled the ball 11 times, losing three. Even when Ryan returns to fully healthy, the Colts plan to start Ehlinger.

"Extremely difficult decision given the respect and admiration that we have for Matt Ryan, given what he's brought here," Reich said, per ESPN. "He is a pro's pro. This guy is special. We all know at the quarterback position that our poor production on offense is not on one person.

It's not on Matt Ryan. But we also know, as head coach and quarterback, it doesn't matter. I'm judged on wins and losses. Quarterbacks are judged on points and turnovers. We understand that's how it is in this league. Matt will be a pro."

Reich on why the Colts are benching Ryan

In 2021, the Colts traded for Carson Wentz, who didn't impress and didn't lead the team to the playoffs.

After the 2021 season ended, the Colts got rid of Wentz and went all in on acquiring Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. The Colts entered this past offseason believing they were a good quarterback away from contending for the Super Bowl.

Seven games into the season, the Colts have a 3-3-1 record. Reich and the rest of the Colts organization feel that Ryan just hasn't lived up to the expectation so far. "This is a point that needs to be made crystal clear, and I told this to Matt.

I said, 'Matt, we did not hold up our end of the bargain. You came here and we promised you a top NFL rushing game and we promised you great protection. And we haven't as an offense delivered on that. And that starts with me.'

That was basically my message to Matt," Reich said. "We thought the marriage of Matt Ryan and his history with our running game, he's had 14 years of incredibly productive quarterback play with great play-action. So, we thought there was going to be a natural marriage there.

Given our crazy quarterback scenarios over the last five years, it wasn't a move of desperation. It was a well-thought-out [decision]."