INDIANAPOLIS – The in-season quarterback carousel will spin once again, and a byproduct of the latest switch has riled up interim head coach Jeff Saturday.
Nick Foles will miss the Indianapolis Colts’ season finale against Houston Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium after suffering a rib injury while being sacked by New York Giants’ defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux in the second quarter of the Giants’ 38-10 win.
“Nick’s really sore, obviously; the whole side of his body,’’ Saturday said Monday afternoon. “Obviously he took a massive shot there, landed on the ball.
“So, a lot of pain. He’ll be down this week.’’
Sam Ehlinger will make his third start of the season and his career against the Texans. Matt Ryan, who was the inactive No. 3 quarterback against the Giants, will move to No. 2.
But while dealing with a fourth change at the team’s most influential position, Saturday also is dealing with unacceptable behavior of his offensive line. He’s disappointed no lineman – or any teammate – reacted to Thibodeaux’s post-sack celebration.
While Foles writhed on the ground in obvious pain, the Giants’ rookie did snow angels next to him. Thibodeaux was so close to Foles that his hand brushed Foles several times while doing his antics.
Saturday wasn’t please, either by Thibodeaux or the Colts.
“Tasteless from the celebration standpoint,’’ he said. “Just trash. Not a fan at all.’’
His reaction to the non-reaction by his players? Remember, Saturday was a perennial Pro Bowl center during his 13-year career with the Colts that involved protecting Peyton Manning and resulted in him being added to the Ring of Honor.
“Yeah, disappointed from the o-line perspective and for teammates in general,’’ he said. “We protect our own, man.
“Ya’ll know me, man. I’ve been here a long time. I’m just going to tread lightly. I didn’t like it at all and that’s where I’ll leave it.’’
Will he address the matter with the offensive line?
“Yeah, we’ll have a discussion about it.’’
Center Ryan Kelly told Colts.com after the game that Thibodeaux’s post-sack celebration was “just (expletive).’’
Thibodeaux indicated he was unaware Foles was injured on the sack, even though Foles was right next to him on the turf.
“When I did realize that he was hurt, that’s when we started getting up,’’ he told ESPN. “When you’re doing a celebration, you’re not looking to see who’s doing what. But I hope he gets well and I hope he’s all right.’’
As he went to the sideline, Thibodeaux put his hands to his cheek in a “go to sleep’’ gesture.
As for the shuffling at quarterback, Ehlinger’s return to the starting lineup marks the fourth change this season.
*Ryan started games 1-7. He was benched following the 19-10 loss at Tennessee.
*Ehlinger replaced him for games 8-9, and was benched after Frank Reich was fired and replaced by Saturday on an interim basis following the 26-3 loss at New England.
*Ryan returned for games 10-14, and was benched following the 39-36 overtime loss at Minnesota, which was the largest collapse in NFL history. The Colts led 33-0 at the half, but had only scored one offensive touchdown.
*and now Ehlinger, again.
In his three appearances, the team’s 2021 sixth-round draft pick has completed 41-of-66 passes for 364 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a 75.6 passer rating.
His first career TD was a 6-yarder to Michael Pittman Jr. in the third quarter against the Giants.
Foles’ season with the Colts consists of two starts and an unsightly bottom line: 25-of-42, 224 yards, no touchdowns, four interceptions and a 34.3 rating.
Ryan has started 12 games and been the most productive – and most careless – of the quarterbacks. While directing the Colts to a 4-7-1 record, he’s passed for 3,057 yards with 14 TDs, 13 interceptions and what would be a career-low 83.9 passer rating. His 18 total turnovers are tied with Buffalo’s Josh Allen for most in the league. His 13 interceptions for tied for second-most.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.