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Saturday, Foles talk latest Colts quarterback change for Monday Night Football

Matt Ryan #2 and Nick Foles #9 of Indianapolis Colts are seen on the sideline during the preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium on Aug. 27, 2022, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eight weeks after being demoted to the Colts third string quarterback, veteran Nick Foles finds himself in the driver’s seat in Indianapolis.

On Wednesday afternoon, Colts Interim Head Coach Jeff Saturday announced the demotion of Matt Ryan in favor for Foles ahead of the Monday Night Football meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers on WISH-TV.

“I’ve got a ton of respect for Matt, the way he’s handled it, he’s a true pro,” Saturday said Wednesday. “His leadership since I’ve been here is second to none. His demand on others and what he asks of himself, and it’s just unfortunate when you aren’t playing to the level you want to play to. But again, the guy busts his butt man, he is here, he works, he is doing everything he can and unfortunately it hasn’t worked out this season. But, as far of what I think of him as a person, I couldn’t think more highly of him. Even in our discussion, when I told him, he has been great. He understands. Obviously, he isn’t happy with the decision, but who would be?”  

Ryan, who leads the NFL in interceptions, total fumbles, and turnovers this season, now heads to the bench for the second time this season after being demoted ahead of Week 8 in favor of second-year Quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

Ehlinger and the Colts went 0-2 against Washington and New England. Following the dismissal of Head Coach Frank Reich, Ryan was promoted back into the starting role following the arrival of Jeff Saturday.

Ryan led a game-winning drive to hand Saturday a victory in his interim coaching debut Week 10 at Las Vegas. But following four straight losses, including the historic 33-point collapse this past weekend at Minnesota, forced Saturday to make a change.

“It’s obviously not the season he (Matt Ryan) expected nor the Colts as a whole, so I feel bad for Matt, but ultimately I feel like Nick gives us the best chance to win,” Saturday said Wednesday afternoon. “

As of Wednesday, there is no clear plan publicly on Matt Ryan’s role the rest of the season.

Jeff Saturday will wait until later this week to announce his backup quarterback against the Chargers. As for Foles, Saturday “hopes” the 11-year-pro is the guy the rest of the season, citing that it will hinge on his play.

“I just didn’t feel like me made enough plays offensively, it is no secret,” Saturday said. “We haven’t converted in the red zone and ultimately you have to make plays in the NFL. We aren’t making nearly enough explosive plays… and I’ve said this before, this is not all on Matt. This is on us and the entirety of an offensive perspective. But, ultimately that leads into it. So, I feel like Nick can give us a better chance to go and win these last three games.”

This season, Foles has exclusively run the scout team offense, with zero reps leading the first team offense. His first reps with the starters came at practice Wednesday.
For Foles Monday night will mark exactly one year since his most recent NFL start when he led Chicago to a victory in Seattle. Before that start, the last time Foles started a game was Week 11 of the 2002 season.

“It’s been a crazy year for this organization and everyone involved,” Foles said Wednesday. “I mean it’s tough, as a QB room we are really close with two great quarterbacks with Matt and Sam. The biggest thing that we always talk about is having a good group to care for each other, and that’s the most important part. We’ve really been put through the test this year with all of the different changes and once again, we are in a different change. That is what I will remember from this year is the QB room and how we always stuck together.”

When asked about this season, Foles called it a quote, “complete 180” from what he expected and reiterated that Frank Reich was “one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around.”

Foles said he still talks to Reich on a regular basis, and it appears it is likely he gets a message from his former head coach ahead of his Colts debut on Monday night.

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