Quenton Nelson

Colts Planning Quenton Nelson Extension

Following their decisions to extend Ryan Kelly and Braden Smith, the Colts figured to have the same plan for their top offensive lineman. They do, and a Quenton Nelson extension — with the three-time All-Pro guard entering his fifth-year option season — shifts to the forefront in 2022.

Quenton’s a Colt,” Colts GM Chris Ballard said, via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “We want him to be a Colt long-term. When we do the contract, we’ll work through that.”

Obviously instrumental in Jonathan Taylor winning the rushing title by more than 500 yards, Nelson landing his fourth first-team All-Pro honor may well be on tap. Nelson is the only offensive lineman since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to earn such acclaim in each of his first three seasons. To lock down Nelson, the Colts will almost definitely need to authorize a guard-record contract — perhaps by a notable margin.

Joel Bitonio and Joe Thuney‘s $16MM-per-year deals represent the high-water mark at guard. Nelson should command north of $20MM annually, Erickson suggests. That would be a market-shifting accord and tie the Colts to three high-end O-line deals.

Drafted sixth overall in 2018, Nelson has teamed with Kelly and Smith to give the Colts a top-tier offensive front. The team has Kelly tied to the third-richest center deal; Smith’s pact sits fourth among right tackles. Right guard Mark Glowinski just played out a midlevel deal (three years, $16.2MM), and left tackle Eric Fisher is also set for free agency in March.

The Colts resisted moving Nelson to left tackle during Fisher’s injury hiatus, and although Chris Reed adequately replaced Nelson during his four missed games this season, Ballard confirmed Nelson is not changing positions.

Why would you move a Hall of Fame left guard to left tackle?” Ballard said. “It makes no sense to me. And look, he’s got a ways to go to be a Hall of Famer, but why would you move a great player to left tackle? We’re not doing it.

The franchise tag in 2023 would be an option for the Colts, should they have second thoughts about a market-topping extension. The team has not operated that way under Ballard, having not used the tag since 2013. Indianapolis is projected to rank among the top 10 in cap space going into the 2022 league year.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Colts Reached Out To Philip Rivers

The NFL revising its COVID-19 protocols yet again may allow the Colts to dodge a bullet. Carson Wentz is unvaccinated and tested positive Tuesday, but Frank Reich said he would start Sunday if he is asymptomatic, Stephen Holder of The Athletic tweets. Current Colts backup Sam Ehlinger would start if Wentz is experiencing symptoms at that point.

Reich has also remained in contact with the Colts’ 2020 starter, Philip Rivers. The two discussed the current Colts QB bind, Zak Keefer of The Athletic tweets. However, it does not seem like Rivers will come out of retirement to replace Wentz. Reich said nothing is developing on that front.

Rivers, 40, retired after spending last season with the Colts, but the current high school coach has said he would consider a return to join a contender. He was open to joining the Saints once Jameis Winston went down earlier this season. In his one Colts season, Rivers completed 68% of his passes and finished with a 24-to-11 TD-INT ratio. The Colts traded for Wentz not long after Rivers’ retirement.

Had the NFL not revised its protocols for a second time this month, Wentz would be shut down for Week 17 due to his positive test. Previously, unvaccinated players who tested positive were forced into 10-day quarantines. The NFL has reduced that to five, opening the door for Wentz to play Sunday. A sixth-round rookie, Ehlinger took first-team reps for a stretch after Wentz went down with a foot injury during training camp.

The Colts received more good news regarding their COVID-19 situation Wednesday. They activated offensive line starters Quenton Nelson and Mark Glowinski, along with cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and defensive end Kemoko Turay. However, right tackle Braden Smith is now on Indianapolis’ virus list. Smith could rejoin his teammates Sunday, however, regardless of vaccination status. Like Wentz, if Smith is not displaying symptoms, he could return Sunday against the Raiders. Smith was the Colts’ lone O-line starter available by the end of Week 16, but the team will have more of its starters on hand against Las Vegas.

Marlon Mack, cornerback T.J. Carrie, safety Jahleel Addae and linebacker Malik Jefferson join Smith as players now on Indy’s virus list.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Colts Place Quenton Nelson On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Colts will be without their entire interior offensive line Saturday. After they ruled out Ryan Kelly and Mark Glowinski, the Colts placed Quenton Nelson on their reserve/COVID-19 list.

A three-time All-Pro, Nelson is Indianapolis’ top offensive lineman and arguably the NFL’s premier guard. But, after Glowinski’s positive coronavirus test, Nelson will not be with the team in Arizona, either.

Indianapolis has dealt with availability issues across its O-line this season, but this will be a task for Carson Wentz, Jonathan Taylor and Co. Nelson did miss three games earlier this year, and he underwent foot surgery during training camp. But the former top-10 pick came back in Week 7 and had not missed any time since. Nelson became a four-time Pro Bowler this week and is on track toward a record-setting guard extension in 2022.

FiveThirtyEight.com pegs the Colts’ playoff chances at 89% going into Week 16, but the 8-6 team’s depth will be tested. The Colts used Chris Reed in place of Nelson earlier this season. Reed will start in Nelson’s place, per Frank Reich, who said Matt Pryor will fill in for Glowinski at right guard.

If Nelson is unvaccinated, he would miss the Colts’ Week 17 game — against the Raiders — as well. Nelson was unvaccinated going into the season, having been a close contact before Week 1.

Colts OLs Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski To Miss Saturday’s Game

The Colts continue to climb the AFC standings, but they’ll have to take on the formidable Cardinals on Saturday without two starting linemen. According to The Athletic’s Stephen Holder (on Twitter), linemen Ryan Kelly (personal) and Mark Glowinski (reserve/COVID-19 list) will both miss this weekend’s game.

Kelly was just named to his third-straight Pro Bowl, and the 28-year-old is having another standout season for Indy. He’s appeared in at least 90 percent of his team’s offensive snaps in his 12 starts. 2020 fifth-round pick Danny Pinter will likely get the start in place of Kelly.

Glowinski was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier today. The former fourth-round pick has generally been a starter throughout his time with the Colts, and he’s started 12 of his 14 games in 2021. Chris Reed could get the nod in Glowinski’s stead.

While the team’s going to have to deal with some absences on their offensive lineman, they can rest easy knowing All-Pro Quenton Nelson will be in uniform. Per Holder, the offensive lineman was back at practice today after dealing with an illness earlier this week.

In other injury news, Holder notes that the team will also be without Andrew Sendejo (concussion) on Saturday. The 34-year-old defensive back joined the Colts back in September, and he’s started 10 of his 12 games this season. collecting 40 tackles.

Colts Activate Quenton Nelson From IR

Quenton Nelson will end up spending the minimum number of games during his first IR stay. The Colts activated the All-Pro guard ahead of Sunday night’s game against the 49ers.

A high ankle sprain stopped the three-time All-Pro’s start streak at 51 to start his career. Nelson kept that run going despite having foot surgery during training camp. Although Indianapolis went 2-1 without its top lineman, this certainly qualifies as good news for the team’s prospects in its second nationally televised game in three weeks.

The Colts will not have Braden Smith available, however. Indy’s right tackle will miss a sixth straight game due to foot and thumb injuries. Unlike Nelson, Smith has not spent time on IR this season. Nelson returned to practice earlier this week. Nelson, 25, will continue his track toward what will almost certainly be a record-setting guard extension. The Colts extended fellow 2018 draftees Smith, Darius Leonard and Nyheim Hines earlier this year. Nelson, however, has an extra year remaining on his contract thanks to the fifth-year option.

The Colts made room for Nelson by placing Julian Blackmon on IR. The second-year safety suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in practice this week. Former second-round pick Josh Jones, who joined the Colts’ practice squad this week, is now on the team’s active roster for its San Francisco trip. So is veteran wideout Keke Coutee. The Colts ruled T.Y. Hilton out earlier on Saturday. Hilton made his return from a neck injury last week, but he is now battling a quad ailment.

Colts’ Quenton Nelson Returns To Practice

Colts guard Quenton Nelson has been designated for return. Ditto for rookie defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo and wide receiver Dezmon Patmon, who also took to the practice field on Wednesday.

Nelson could potentially play against the 49ers on Sunday night, but that’ll all depend on how his practice sessions go this week. Whenever he returns, it’ll be a big boost to the Colts’ front five.

[He’s] an elite leader, not just an elite player,” head coach Frank Reich said earlier this month (via ESPN.com).

The multiple-time All-Pro has been sidelined for weeks with a high-ankle sprain, unfamiliar territory for the otherwise healthy lineman. Before this, Nelson hadn’t missed a game through his first three years in the NFL.

Nelson, the sixth-overall pick in the 2018 draft, stands as one of the top offensive guards in the game. Barring any further complications, he’s expected to ink a record-setting extension come next year. In the meantime, he’s focused on the task at hand — helping the Colts gain ground in the AFC South.

After an 0-3 start, the Colts have rallied somewhat to win two of their last three. Now 2-4, the Colts have a chance to close in on the 4-2 Titans.

Colts Place G Quenton Nelson On IR

The hits keep coming for the Colts. The team placed All-Pro offensive guard Quenton Nelson on injured reserve today (per the team’s Twitter). Nelson recently suffered a high-ankle sprain, an injury that will keep him sidelined for at least the next three games.

The sixth-overall pick in the 2018 draft quickly established himself as one of the top offensive guards in the NFL. The lineman has earned a Pro Bowl nod and first-team All-Pro recognition in each of his three professional seasons.

Nelson hadn’t missed a game through his first three year in the NFL. He underwent surgery in early August to repair a bone issue in his foot, and his recovery timeline put him at risk of missing the season opener. The 25-year-old managed to battle back and appear in 100 percent of his team’s offensive snaps in Week 1 (and subsequently Week 2). Nelson was limited to only 13 snaps last weekend before suffering his injury.

The Colts made two additional moves today in anticipation of tomorrow’s matchup against the Dolphins. The team promoted both safety Ibraheim Campbell and quarterback Brett Hundley from the practice squad.

Colts QB Carson Wentz To Start Week 1

Colts QB Carson Wentz will be under center for the regular season opener against the Seahawks this afternoon, as Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com write. A Week 1 return was looking more and more likely for Indy’s new signal-caller, and his presence will obviously be key in the Colts’ push for a return to the postseason.

Wentz underwent surgery on August 2 to deal with an old broken bone in his foot that had chipped and splintered. The Colts initially announced a vague five- to 12-week timetable, and according to Pelissero and Rapoport, the wide range of possible return dates was because no one knew until Wentz went under the knife what type of surgery he would require.

If doctors needed to insert a screw to secure the splintered piece of bone, Wentz would have missed two to three months. Luckily, the bone fragment was simply removed, and Wentz’s recovery proceeded without complications.

Head coach Frank Reich said Wentz will not be limited in any way, though the offensive play-calling may be just a bit more conservative than it normally would be.

“As far as what he can do, he can do everything,” Reich said. “What will we actually call? Will we keep the reins on a little bit? Probably. Probably so. I just think that makes sense. I just think we’ll manage it. We’ll be smart.”

Wentz will be protected by All-World left guard Quenton Nelson, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Nelson underwent foot surgery of his own in August, but he subsequently battled a back issue that put his Week 1 status in doubt.

Unfortunately, left tackle Eric Fisher will not suit up today, as Schefter notes in a separate tweet. That means Julie’n Davenport will be protecting Wentz’s blind side.