Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay laughed off the rumors about the Colts tanking this season. The Colts, who are 3-5-1 after their first nine games, recently benched veteran quarterback Matt Ryan for Sam Ehlinger, who had no previous experience as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Then, the Colts fired head coach Frank Reich and named Jeff Saturday as the interim head coach for the rest of the year. Saturday has no previous head coaching experience at the NFL level but still the Colts named him as their interim head coach for the rest of the season.
Many were left stunned by the Colts' recent moves as some suggested that the only explanation for all of this is that the Colts have entered tank mode. “That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard, that we’re tanking.
That’s bull----. We’re in this thing; 9-7-1 get us in, no question about it. We’re not tanking the season. Whoever says these things, that we’re not playing [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] because [of an effort to tank], that’s all bullshit.
That’s not true. We’re going to do what it takes to win. I don’t know who people think we are, they don’t know us. We don’t tank in Indianapolis," Irsay told Bob Kravitz of The Athletic.
Irsay suggests the Colts could again make a quarterback change
Ehlinger, who started the past two games for the Colts, will also start this week against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Going forward, Irsay isn't ruling out the Colts starting against Ryan or even Nick Foles. "When (general manager) Chris (Ballard), Frank and I decided to go with Sam, Frank wanted to name him quarterback for the year, but I told them, 'Look, we have three quarterbacks; we need to use them all to win this year.'
If we decide to make a change, we'll make a change. It's not something we're locked into. We're going with Sam with his mobility and his play-making ability since we're struggling in protection and moving the ball.
There was never a notion that you wouldn't go to Nick or Matt later in the season when (Ryan's) shoulder is healthy. They're all available to help us win, bottom line," Irsay explained. In the same interview, Irsay indicated the Colts will likely again be in the search for a quarterback next offseason.