Who is Sam Ehlinger? A look at the Colts QB starting in place of Matt Ryan

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan has struggled this season, so much so that the team benched the veteran for backup Sam Ehlinger. The 24-year-old is expected to be “starter for the rest of the season,” Colts coach Frank Reich announced Monday.

The Colts fell to 3-3-1 with Sunday’s 19-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans as Ryan suffered a Grade 2 shoulder separation. The team is clearly frustrated and their quarterback isn’t helping the situation when it comes to winning games.

Ryan has thrown for 2,008 yards with 9 TDs and 9 interceptions – the most in the NFL this season – and has been sacked 24 times, the most in the league.

Against the Titans, Ryan threw back-to-back interceptions, including a pick-six. Ryan didn’t get off to a good start, and now the Colts want to try someone familiar behind center to see if that gives them a better chance to win — just seven games into the regular season after sending their previous starter, Carson Wentz, to the Washington Commanders in craft.

Let’s take a look at who this new Colts starter is before his first start of the NFL regular season this week, which will come against the Commanders and their own backup, Taylor Heinicke, while Wentz rehabs a finger injury.

High school

Ehlinger played quarterback at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas and by the time he graduated was the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He was also named the MaxPreps National Youth of the Year.

He held offers from Florida State, Houston, McNeese State, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas Tech, Wyoming and Texas.

Texas Longhorns

Ehlinger became a Texas Longhorn in 2017 and set numerous records while in college. In 2018, he broke the record for most rushing touchdowns by a Longhorns quarterback with 16. That same year, he broke the Big 12 record for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception with 308.

He helped lead the team to 27 wins as the starting quarterback, the fourth most in school history, and was the seventh two-time team captain in team history.

He was the 2020 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year, a CBS Sports Preseason All-American and received votes as the CBS Sports Preseason Player of the Year.

In his senior year, he led the Texans to the Valero Alamo Bowl, where he went 10-for-16 for 160 yards and a touchdown against Colorado (a 55-23 Texas win) before getting injured and missing the second half.

In his junior year, he also played in the Alamo Bowl against No. 11 Utah, completing 12 of 18 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns and rushing 11 times for 73 yards and one touchdown in Texas’ 38-10 victory.

His freshman year, he went 11 of 15 for 112 yards and a touchdown in the Texas Bowl against Missouri.

Here’s a look at Ehlinger’s college passing stats:

2017

9

158

57.5

1,915

11

7

124.1

2018

14

275

64.7

3,292

25

5

146.8

2019

12

296

65.2

3,663

32

10

151.8

2020

10

194

60.2

2,566

26

5

150.7

career

46

923

62.5

11,436

94

27

145.0

Here are Ehlinger’s college rushing stats:

2017

9

114

381

3.3

2

2018

14

164

482

2.9

16

2019

13

163

663

4.1

7

2020

10

113

377

3.3

8

career

46

554

1,907

3.4

33

NFL draft

The Indianapolis Colts selected Ehlinger in the sixth round with the No. 218 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year rookie contract in May 2021.

The Colts had Carson Wentz as their starting quarterback at the time.

NFL career

Ehlinger is competing against Jacob Eason for the backup role in 2021. In September 2021, he was placed on injured reserve after a sprained ACL.

He helped lead the team to a 21-18 comeback against the Carolina Panthers in its first preseason game of 2021.

Here’s a look at Ehlinger’s 2022 preseason stats:

  • Completion-Attempts: 24-29
  • Passing yards: 289
  • Touchdown Passes: 4
  • Rushing Touchdowns :1
  • Revolutions: 0
  • Passer rating: 147.8

In May 2021, Sam Jake’s younger broker, who was a Texas quarterback, died of what was later ruled an accidental overdose of Xanax laced with fentanyl. His father died of a heart attack aged 46 in 2013 during a triathlon.

Leave a Comment