INDIANAPOLIS – We’re in a holding pattern with Carson Wentz, and one of Frank Reich’s trusted rules might be put to the test.
Wentz did not practice Wednesday and his status for the rest of the week and availability for the Indianapolis Colts’ AFC South clash with the Tennessee Titans Sunday in Nashville are in question after he sprained both ankles in last Sunday’s to the Los Angeles Rams.
“Still sore, both of them, and working through it,’’ Wentz said. “Honestly a lot of unknowns. We’ll see how my body responds.
“Doing everything we can. Each day, shoot, each couple of hours it’s gotten better.’’
Wentz had his right foot in a protective boot and got around the team complex Tuesday on a scooter. Wednesday, he didn’t have a boot on either ankle, but walked with a slight limp.
Wentz sprained his left ankle in the third quarter of the Rams game – it didn’t hinder him much in the game but began throbbing that night and the next morning – and injured the right one when he was pulled down by defensive tackle Aaron Donald midway through the fourth quarter.
He initially feared the right ankle was broken, but an MRI revealed a sprain.
And it’s the right ankle that’s most concerning.
“The right one’s definitely worse,’’ he said. “We’ll see how she goes.’’
It’s possible Wentz’s week will consist of extensive treatment and taking mental reps as Jacob Eason and Brett Hundley handle the offense in practice. It’s possible he won’t practice at all, then start against the Titans.
But that would go against Reich’s approach with injured players.
“I have a general rule as far as when a guy has to practice to play,’’ he said. “It’s not absolutely etched in stone. We kind of do it case-by-case. Generally speaking that rule is you’ve got to practice Friday. Do we occasionally make exceptions to that rule? Not very often.’’
T.Y. Hilton bucked that rule in 2018 when he routinely missed practices in December but played with high sprains to an ankle.
Wentz has dealt with a variety of injuries during his six-year career: ribs, back, a torn ACL, a concussion. He had surgery on his left ankle Aug. 2 and now sprains to both ankles.
Has he ever played in a game after not practicing during the week?
He paused and smiled.
“Uh, great question,’’ he said. “Definitely limited before. I’m not sure if I’ve ever gone without practicing at all. I honestly couldn’t tell you that one 100%.
“I probably doubt it.’’
So brace yourself for a week of uncertainty.
“Throwing the kitchen sink at it trying to get it healthy,’’ Wentz said. “Still studying tape and trying to be mentally locked in (to the Titans), but a lot of different types of treatment. Doing everything I can to get the swelling down and to get it healed as quick as I can.’’
Regardless of the practice versus no practice issue, Wentz must be able to play at an acceptable level on Sunday while dealing with some degree of pain.
“The function definitely has to be there because if you can’t fully function, you’re at risk to yourself and your team,’’ he said. “You can only play through so much pain.’’
Reich was unable to offer much insight on how the week might unfold. Might Wentz play with the sprained ankles? Might Eason get his first NFL start?
“We’re just going to continue to evaluate it day-by-day,’’ he said. “I’ve got confidence in our roster.
“I’m not going to project. Let’s just wait and see what we know about Carson first and then I’ll make that statement.’’