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Colts C Ryan Kelly reflects on revolving door at QB: 'Tougher' when you go different week-to-week

Change has been the sole constant in Indianapolis since the moment Andrew Luck retired.

Six different quarterbacks have started for the Colts since then. Kelly has been there to snap to all of them, including their latest new starter, Nick Foles.

"It's tough when it's different year-to-year," Kelly said, via FOX59. "Certainly when you go different week-to-week, it's even tougher."

Because Foles spent nearly the entirety of the 2022 season as Indianapolis' third-string quarterback, Kelly hadn't even taken a snap with Foles prior to his Week 16 start, a realization Kelly described as "crazy." Kelly commended Foles for handling the duties well "under tough circumstances," but as the rest of the viewing audience witnessed, Foles' three interceptions didn't produce a memorable outing.

It hasn't been a memorable season for the Colts, except for the fact they fired Frank Reich and replaced him with a franchise legend in Jeff Saturday, who arrived with zero NFL head-coaching experience and has recorded just one win since taking the interim job. When it's over in a couple of weeks, most folks supporting the team will want to forget this season and the club's failed partnership with veteran quarterback Matt Ryan.

Yes, Ryan is another member of that six-man list, which grows to nine when counting back to the start of Kelly's career in 2016. So too is Sam Ehlinger, who was surprisingly (and temporarily) elevated to the starting job just two weeks before Reich was fired. The rest of the list includes notable names such as Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz, with Jacoby Brissett, Brian Hoyer and Scott Tolzien among the others.

It's been that kind of season in Indianapolis. Based on the results, nothing is certain for most anyone outside of a few key figures, including Kelly.

"I think every single guy knows the situation that we're in," Kelly said. "You have two games left and you're not guaranteed anything in this league. This team has two games together left. After that, it will never look the same.

"We'll go out there and give it our best. If you're a professional and you want to stay in this league, you go out there and no matter the circumstances, you play hard. If you're out of the playoff situation, you go out there and don't give effort and you don't try hard, everybody else in the league sees that.''

The Colts will again be in the quarterback market this offseason, and at least a few quality signal-callers could be available. Seattle's Geno Smith has played the best football of his career in 2022, but he isn't under contract beyond this season. Jimmy Garoppolo overcame unique circumstances in San Francisco to reclaim his standing as an attractive option under center and, like Smith, is a free agent in March. Wednesday's news out of Las Vegas also cast doubt on Derek Carr's future with the Raiders.

Kelly can count on snapping to a 10th starter in his career in 2023. Who it ends up being remains to be seen.

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