AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans


The next man up for the Colts at quarterback appears to be 2020 fourth-round QB Jacob Eason, who essentially had a redshirt season for Indianapolis last year without even the benefit of a preseason due to the pandemic. However, sixth-round QB Sam Ehlinger has quietly been impressing the coaches with his work on the second team, perhaps to the point of putting himself in the conversation to start. 

“I’m really impressed with where Sam is,” Colts HC Frank Reich said via the Athletic’s Stephen Holder. “Not only mentally, but whatever the ‘It’ factor is. It’s not too big for him. You can feel that. He’s got a presence about him. And he has instincts. You can just feel that he has good quarterback instincts. I told him (Tuesday) that it’s very apparent he understands how to keep the game simple. And that’s a big deal.”

The two quarterbacks have very different skill sets, so if it does become a competition, it could become about what the staff values the most to hold them over until Carson Wentz returns. 

“Jacob has an elite arm,” Reich said. “They’re both athletic, but I think Sam is more of a runner. He proved that in college. He makes a lot of plays with his feet. Sam has a good arm but not the elite arm. So, he finds ways to get it done. And when you’re that kind of player, that’s what you do. He’s just very good at that….

“Jacob on the other hand, we want him to do that same thing, but Jacob has an upside. That’s the one thing with a guy who has that kind of arm strength. There’s certain things that you can do with that kind of arm talent that money can’t buy. But you just have to be able to execute consistently enough to give yourself the opportunities for those big-play capabilities to show.”


Jaguars HC Urban Meyer said win records from individual drills during practice will factor into who secures roster spots.

“A big roster’s going to go to a smaller roster, and I think to be fair to players — we all have so much respect [and] this is a way guys make a living — I don’t believe in subjectivity,” Meyer said, via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. “I believe in, what’s your record? Every man’s got a record. What is it? You are what your record [is]. If you lose a lot but you have a lot of potential, that’s not real good.

“Just over the course of my career, I can give you example after example [of players who] maybe they’re a little slow, but they just never lose.”

Jaguars DE Dawuane Smoot said he appreciates the coaches keeping track and announcing individual records during these drills.

“I feel like it definitely just keeps that competitive spirit going,” Smoot said. “We’re all trying to hear our own name on the [public-address system] anyways out there on the big field, so just hearing it out on the practice field, it’s great.”

  • WR Laviska Shenault is happy to have WR Marvin Jones as a teammate: “He’s definitely a mentor, but he’s also a great player still and going into his tenth year. So, I mean, I’m just ready to get on the field next to him.” (Oehser)


  • Aaron Wilson reports Texans QB Deshaun Watson has calf and ankle tightness that has kept him out of practice. However, the injury is not regarded as a major, long-term issue.  
  • Texans HC David Culley said he had “no update at all” on Watson’s situation and the organization will keep contracts and injuries private. (Wilson)


Titans LT Taylor Lewan said the team is bringing him along slowly after recovering from a torn ACL but expects to be available for Week 1. 

“They’re integrating me slowly, and it’s definitely great to know they care and put me in the right position and not compromise anything going into the season,” said Lewan, via Ben Arthur of the Nashville Tennessean. “Barring anything, there’s going to be no issues. Week 1 is not going to be a problem. I feel great.”

Titans HC Mike Vrabel said Lewan wants to do more in practice and has done well in individual drills, one-on-ones, and their overall conditioning program. 

He wants to add more to it,” Vrabel said. “He wants to do more, so that’s positive. The more we ask him to do – individuals, one-on-ones, working conditioning – he’s done all that. Hopefully, we can progress here to the next step and see where this goes.”

Vrabel stressed that the Titans want to be on the “same page” with Lewan’s recovery. 

“He’s doing the jog-throughs, which are good,” Vrabel said. “We’ll see where that leads to. Does it lead to more one-on-ones? Does it lead to more reps in the team period? I don’t know. But as long as we’re all on the same page, I think that’s what is most important.”

Lewan added that he feels “back to my normal self” and compared recovering from a torn ACL to “re-learning how to walk.”

Going through that process, going through points where you’re like, ‘Am I ever going to be the same person again?’” Lewan said. “You’re re-learning how to walk. … Like, ‘Am I going to be strong enough to play this game again?’ It’s kind of like, there’s a lot of ebbs and flows not only physically, but emotionally as well. I had to go through a lot of that. I’m just really appreciative to be where I’m at right now. I definitely feel like I’m back to my normal self, if not a little bit better.”

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