Colts Carson Wentz, Quenton Nelson slated to practice weeks ahead of schedule

The Indianapolis Colts may be getting a pair of key players back significantly sooner than expected.

Head coach Frank Reich told reporters on Sunday that quarterback Carson Wentz and All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson are both expected to practice this week in a limited capacity. The news arrives less than three weeks after each player underwent foot surgery that was expected to sideline them between five and 12 weeks.

Reich also announced that Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly is expected to practice this week after suffering a hyperextended left elbow on July 30.

“He’ll be out there," Reich said of Wentz, per SiriusXM's Adam Kaplan. "It’ll be limited, he’ll be limited but he will be participating. As will Kelly and as well Quenton Nelson.”

WESTFIELD, INDIANA - JULY 28: Carson Wentz #2 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the Indianapolis Colts Training Camp at Grand Park on July 28, 2021 in Westfield, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Will Carson Wentz be ready for Week 1? (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Wentz, Nelson could have missed almost half the season

Wentz had surgery on Aug. 2 and Nelson on Aug. 3 to correct foot injuries. The initial time frame projected both players sidelined up to Week 7's game against the San Francisco 49ers at the longest. Backup quarterbacks Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger were competing in camp for the presumed Week 1 start against the Seattle Seahawks.

Reports surfaced in mid-August that Wentz could be ready for Week 1. Reich's recent statements confirms that Wentz and Nelson are both ahead of schedule. Though it doesn't guarantee a Week 1 start for either player. But that's the goal.

Will Wentz be ready for Week 1?

“In a perfect world, we have a really good idea after that third preseason game, and Carson would get to work two weeks going into the first game," Reich told reporters last week. "The next perfect world is he only gets the work of game week. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. It could be Week 2, Week 3. That’s still to be determined."

Reich wouldn't commit to a firmer timeline, telling reporters that Wentz hasn't yet "pushed it" in practice.

"We’re going to have to wait to get to the point where we push it and see how things respond," Reich said. "We just don’t want to do that too soon, too fast."

Wentz, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft, joined the Colts this offseason in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles to take over the starting job after Philip Rivers retired. With the injury uncertainty in Indianapolis, BetMGM bookmakers pick the Colts to finish second (+150) in the AFC South behind the favored Tennessee Titans (-110).

More from Yahoo Sports: