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NFL: Colts QB Carson Wentz at practice boot-free

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Carson Wentz returned to practice, but the Indianapolis Colts quarterback was merely an observer on Tuesday morning.

Wentz wore a red no-contact jersey, shorts and cleats — not a protective boot — eight days after the Colts said he needed surgery to remove a bone from his left foot.

Wentz is roughly four weeks from the earliest possible return date, based on the initial recovery timeline of five to 12 weeks the team provided.

All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson, who had the same foot surgery as Wentz this month, was also at Tuesday’s practice.

Without Wentz, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason, the Colts are using Jacob Eason, Brett Hundley and rookie Sam Ehlinger at quarterback.

Coach Frank Reich said Tuesday that Eason will start Sunday’s preseason game against Carolina but that Eason and Ehlinger will split the reps in joint practices with the Panthers on Thursday and Friday.

“It wasn’t Jacob (Eason) doing anything wrong. This is a meritocracy and Sam has looked good so we decided to split it up,” Reich said. “The good news is they both looked sharp today. We’ll continue to split those reps.”

The Colts selected Eason in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He started his career at Georgia but transferred to Washington. In one season there in 2019, he threw for 3,132 yards — the fourth-highest total in Huskies single-season history — with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The 6-foot-6 Eason didn’t see action with the Colts last season.

Ehlinger, a four-year starter at Texas, completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 11,436 yards, along with 94 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. The Colts picked him in the sixth round of the 2021 draft.

The Colts open the regular season Sept. 12 at home against the Seattle Seahawks.

–Field Level Media

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