INDIANAPOLIS – The news hit Monday morning.

Frank Reich was out as head coach. Jeff Saturday was in on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.

“We found out as a team, all together,’’ quarterback Sam Ehlinger said Wednesday. “Chris (Ballard) came in on Monday and informed us.’’

Two days later, the Indianapolis Colts still were processing the latest shockwave to reverberate through the organization.

So many in the locker room had followed Reich’s lead since 2018. They developed a strong bond that transcended football.

Reich was a rock for Ryan Kelly when he and wife Emma lost their infant daughter Mary Kate Dec. 17.

“The first time I met him was downtown at an event (in ’18),’’ Kelly said. “I thought he was an awesome guy. I still do.

“He’s a man of faith. He’s helped me a lot with the challenges I’ve had with our family. You’re just sad to see him go because he’s a great guy. Love the guy to death.’’

Quenton Nelson was part of general manager Chris Ballard’s 2018 draft class, which coincided with Reich’s first season. Nelson quickly emerged as one of the NFL’s premier guards. He’s been selected All-Pro four times, three as a first-teamer.

“My success, a lot of that is because of him,’’ Nelson said.

The news of Reich’s firing shook Nelson to his core. He had been asked about his reaction to the news on several occasions, but it came up again.

“I spent a lot of time and thought about it,’’ he said. “It was like, ‘Damn.’ I don’t want to repeat myself for a fourth time, but I will because I love coach Frank.

“I love him as a coach and as a person, and I appreciate everything he’s done for me, for the Colts. . . . Really appreciative of him and I feel bad about the situation, but the only thing we can do is move forward and move on.’’

But before moving on and regrouping behind Saturday’s leadership, a few players made it clear they felt culpable in Reich’s departure. That’s in keeping with one of the mantra’s of former long-time offensive coordinator Tom Moore: It’s players, not plays.

The Colts are mired in a three-game losing streak and are 3-5-1 as they prepare for Sunday’s meeting with the Raiders in Las Vegas.

Do the players feel some level of responsibility for Reich’s dismissal?

“Definitely. Yeah,’’ Nelson said. “That’s one of the hard parts. I feel like there’s times this season that I let down coach Frank and contributed to his firing.’’

Added defensive tackle and team captain DeForest Buckner: “Yeah, I was surprised. It’s unfortunate. He’s not the one out there playing, you know what I mean?’’

Wide receiver Parris Campbell echoed similar sentiments when talking with the media Wednesday.

“It hurt me personally to see (Reich) lose his job,’’ he said. “I feel, some way, responsible. Not only me, but as a team, because the product on the field is why you lose or keep a job.

“I get emotional talking about it, because Frank was my guy.’’

What’s next for Ryan

Quarterback Matt Ryan continues to rehab his sprained right shoulder. With the arrival of Saturday, it’s fair to wonder if his role might change once he’s fully recovered.

Might he have a chance to return to the field? Tuesday evening, owner Jim Irsay said it would be the prerogative of Saturday to determine which quarterback to use.

Ryan declined to elaborate on the possibility.

“I’m not going to speak for him, but I think Jeff’s first course of action was making sure they were prepared for today,’’ he said. “We’ll get to that conversation when we get there.’’

Ryan suffered a Grade 2 sprain to his throwing shoulder in his last start, a 19-10 loss at Tennessee in week 7. He has yet to return to practice.

“I’m getting there,’’ he said. “I feel pretty good. I don’t talk about the injury. I never have, but doing everything I can rehabbing and trying to feel as good as I can.’’

The past two games, Ehlinger has started and Nick Foles served as backup.