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Matt Ryan returns as Colts starting QB over Sam Ehlinger vs. Raiders, continuing confusing drama in Indianapolis

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Welcome back, Matt.

It’s been quite the season for the Indianapolis Colts, and that’s an understatement. Their 3-5-1 record isn’t quite indicative of the organizational tumult that’s surrounded them this year: Matt Ryan was a disaster, then benched. Marcus Brady was fired, soon followed by head coach Frank Reich, leading to Jeff Saturday’s hiring.

Well, Saturday made his first major decision on Sunday: Bringing Matt Ryan back from the bench to start him vs. the Raiders in Week 10.

MORE: Why the Colts benched Matt Ryan

Saturday’s decision to start Ryan is not wholly a surprise, especially after Saturday indicated Sam Ehlinger was the Colts QB1. 

Ryan took snaps with the first team this past week, leading to speculation that he might be ready to retake the starting job from Sam Ehlinger. That turned out to be the case.

The circumstances surrounding Ryan’s benching were somewhat unclear, though. A shoulder injury and some wishy-washy language surrounding “the move” to Sam Ehlinger being the starter for the remainder of the 2022 season were the predominant reasons for the move.

That’s not to say that Ryan was performing to a Ryan-level standard in 2022: He threw nine touchdowns to nine interceptions and at times looked to reach the physical limit of his arm as a 37-year-old passer.

To that end, the return of Ryan raises more questions than it answers: Who decided to bench Ryan, and was it Frank Reich or higher powers? And why does new head coach have the power to start Ryan that Reich seemingly didn’t?

Ultimately, Ryan gets the start once again thanks to new leadership. 


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