The Indianapolis Colts are benching quarterback Matt Ryan for the second time this season, the team announced. Ryan will be benched in favor of Nick Foles, who will start on Monday night against the Chargers and is expected to start the rest of the season.
“I feel like Nick will give us a better chance to win these last three games,” Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday said in a press conference on Wednesday.
This is another chapter in what has been an eventful season for the Colts. Ryan was benched for Sam Ehlinger following the team’s Week 7 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Ehlinger lost two consecutive games, and the team subsequently decided to fire head coach Frank Reich on Nov. 7.
The Colts then brought in Saturday, who said he wouldn’t make a change at quarterback before deciding to bench Ehlinger for Ryan anyway. Entering Week 16, Indianapolis has lost four straight games, including losing a 33-point lead against the Vikings last week, and are 4-9-1 on the season.
Additionally, the Colts are averaging just 17.5 points per game this season, which ranks 29th in the NFL. Ryan was completing 67% of his passes for 3,057 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, he was averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt, and he threw 13 interceptions to go along with 15 fumbles.
Ryan’s contract runs through the 2023 season and will carry a cap hit of more than $35 million dollars next season, according to Spotrac.
Foles’ last start came on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2021, against the Seattle Seahawks when he led the Bears to a 25-24 victory. He finished that game by completing 25-of-35 passes for 250 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.
Foles played two snaps in the Colts’ 24-0 loss against the Jaguars in Week 2 but did not attempt a pass.