Sometimes it’s moments that reveal the most.
Sometimes it’s a look that tells you something words can’t.
Chris Ballard remembers the look on his new quarterback’s face when he told him, just five days into training camp, that he was having surgery. This wasn’t a conversation either of them wanted to have, and it wasn’t the start to the season either of them needed. Both of them knew it.
“I could see the frustration,” the Colts’ general manager remembers, “but I saw another look, like, ‘I’m playing.'”
Carson Wentz wouldn’t hear otherwise. The opener was 41 days away. “Let’s get this done,” Wentz told Ballard, “and let’s get to work.” A bone chip was removed from the QB’s foot on Aug. 2; he was back at practice three weeks later. He was under center five weeks later for the Colts’ season opener.
After the foot came the ankle(s). Then came the losses. Monday night was supposed to change that, supposed to save a season that was beginning to splinter. But by the time Wentz huddled with his head coach before their final drive in regulation, the Colts’ 19-point lead had evaporated, and with it, so had their grip on the football game. This one now belonged to Lamar Jackson.
The game was tied, 25-25, and the Colts had the ball on their own 25. Just 39 seconds remained. Wentz knew he needed to end it.