Sam Ehlinger making waves at Indianapolis Colts training camp

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WESTFIELD, Ind. — Saw my favorite play from 13 training-camp practices so far here Thursday, executed by the 10th and final quarterback taken in the 2021 draft, throwing to the 32nd wide receiver picked in the 2021 draft. Colts sixth-round QB Sam Ehlinger to Colts seventh-round wideout Mike Strachan. In a feisty practice against the visiting Panthers, from inside the Carolina 5-yard line, Ehlinger looked at his first option, covered; looked at his second option, covered. Ehlinger came back to the back side of the play, where the 6-5, 225-pound Strachan was blanketed by two Panther DBs—both of whom had their hands on him as he trolled the back of the end zone.

“‘Draped’ doesn’t describe it correctly,” Colts coach Frank Reich told me a day later. “In fact, with words, I don’t know how to describe how well-covered Strachan was by those two Panthers. There was no way to get a ball to him.”

Ehlinger threw it anyway, a line drive to nowhere. “I know covered in the NFL is different than covered in college,” said Ehlinger, who played 46 games at Texas. Well, of course it is. This throw, though, just looked, well, not smart. But Ehlinger burned a fastball at Strachan, through various body parts of the two defenders, and the ball just velcroed onto Strachan. Touchdown. “That play is perfectly indicative of Sam’s camp,” Reich said. “He’s been really impressive.”

Normally I wouldn’t be writing about a depth quarterback on my training-camp trip. That changed two weeks ago, when Carson Wentz underwent foot surgery after a fluky camp injury, and the Colts said he would be out five weeks, minimum. Now it appears Wentz has a good chance to play the Colts’ opener Sept. 12 in Seattle; he was out at the practices I saw with no boot on the surgically repaired foot, with no limp. But it’s a mark of how impressive Ehlinger has been in camp that he is seriously challenging presumptive top backup Jacob Eason, and based on his decision-making quickness and how he’s led the offense, I give him good odds of playing the opener if Wentz isn’t ready. But that’s not a decision that has to be made now, and Eason’s preseason play could change that.

Ehlinger, in his debut playing with the twos and threes, led the Colts to a late TD and ran in a two-point conversion to tie the game, then led the Colts to the winning field goal with seven seconds left to lift Indy past Carolina 21-18 on Sunday.

So much to Ehlinger’s story beyond football. His father died of a heart condition competing in a triathlon when Sam was 14, and five days after Sam was drafted, on his first day inside the Colts’ facility, his younger brother died of undetermined causes back in Texas. Great story by The Atlantic’s Zak Keefer on Ehlinger’s path.

Imagine the first time Ehlinger was in Colts’ headquarters being the day his brother, the closest person in the world to him, died with zero warning. Reich told me at that moment, he didn’t even know Ehlinger—they hadn’t drilled down hard on him before the draft—beyond surface-y hellos and welcome-to-the-team.

“So the first time I’m with Sam is the worst moment of his life,” Reich said. “He found out in the building, then he went out to our practice field, and he’s on his knees, wailing, crying, totally grief-stricken, heartbroken. It was the depth of despair that has a feel you can’t put into words. I don’t know Sam, but he is a brother in Christ, and the amazing thing about this moment is he was pounding his fist on the turf one minute, screaming, ‘Why Lord?’ And the next minute he’s quoting Scripture. I just put my hand on his shoulder and tried to be there for him.”

GM Chris Ballard and Colts director of player engagement David Thornton went to the funeral for Jake Ehlinger. To their surprise, Sam Ehlinger got up and gave an eloquent eight-minute eulogy for his brother, thoughtful and meaningful, fighting through whatever emotions one has when something this earth-moving happens. When it was over, Ballard said to Thornton: “I don’t know exactly what ‘it’ is, but whatever it is, Sam has it.”

That’s become a football cliché, and I thought a while before using it. It’s here because Ehlinger just radiates it, even in the short meeting I had with him.

“That’s an honor for people to say that,” Ehlinger said. “I think it’s just living in the present, really loving others and loving what you do and trying to be the best every single day and improving.

“It’s been very difficult for me. I’m not going to act like it’s easy. To get up there at the funeral and put together words was tough, but I wanted to provide hope for everyone and understanding what that situation was being his brother with the community, with the people we know. I wanted to provide some hope because I knew everybody was hurting. And then living on a daily basis with that is tough, for sure. It’s just important to let those emotions come, not suppress them and push them down, and it certainly comes. It’s not easy and some days are better than others, but continuing to press on, try to stay in the moment and remember the good times is kind of my motto.”

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp
Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger. (Getty Images)

I asked about the message in his eulogy.

“I think the biggest thing I wanted them to take away was obviously what Jake taught me, but giving them hope in eternity. I think that’s something that death makes you face; if you don’t have death in your life you don’t really think about that. But comprehending eternity and how short this life is compared to eternity, and my belief Jesus Christ sacrificing his life for us. But . . . just eternity and putting into perspective how short this life is compared to eternity.”

There is no logical segue to football after what Ehlinger has been through. But around the Colts, after the blows he has taken, they want him to succeed at this level. It’ll likely depend on his ability to make those line-drive NFL throws to spots—his arm is just average—but knowing Reich, he’ll be able to figure out a game plan with offensive coordinator Marcus Brady to win a game or two with Ehlinger if he has to. The smartest thing Ehlinger said to me is hackneyed, but if you believe it, and he does, it’s smart: “Doesn’t do me any good to think about that. I can’t control anything outside of myself.” Point is, just do the work, practice hard. The chips will fall.

Maybe he becomes a starting quarterback one day, if he can show enough arm. Maybe he becomes Chase Daniel, a career backup who can win the occasional game. No one knows. But he makes quick and smart decisions, probably the result of starting 42 games in the Big 12 at Texas. And he is 22 going on 42, and that’s a trait a quarterback coach cannot teach.

Read more in Peter King’s Football Morning in America

2022 NFL Christmas Schedule: TV Schedule, live stream info, what teams are playing, kickoff times, and more

Here is the full 2022 NFL Christmas Schedule with additional how to watch/live stream info
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Christmas falls on a weekend this year which means the NFL is giving the gift of a full, three-day slate of action. The excitement kicks off on Christmas Eve–Saturday, December 24–with 11 total games taking place including an NFC East showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys on Saturday evening.

On Sunday, December 25, the NFL will have a Christmas Day triple-header for the first time ever. First, at 1:00 PM ET, the Green Bay Packers take on the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Then at 4:30 p.m. ET, it’s the Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. At 8:20 p.m. ET the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go head-to-head with the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with a special Christmas Day edition of Football Night in America on NBC and Peacock.

See below for the full 2022 NFL Christmas schedule as well as additional information on how to watch/live stream each match-up.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

2022 NFL Christmas Weekend Schedule:

*All times are listed as ET

Saturday, Dec. 24
Atlanta Falcons vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., FOX
Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., FOX
Buffalo Bills vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., CBS
New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m., CBS
Seattle Seahawks vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m., FOX
New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., FOX
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m., CBS
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m., CBS
Washington Commanders vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., CBS
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:15 p.m., NFLN
Sunday, Dec. 25
Green Bay Packers vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., FOX
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:30 p.m., CBS/Nickelodeon
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Arizona Cardinals, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Dec. 26
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

Which NFL teams are playing on Christmas Day?

  • Green Bay Packers vs Miami Dolphins
  • Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Rams
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals

How to watch Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals:

  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • When: Sunday, December 25
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys: TV, live stream info for Sunday night’s game

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts fell 24-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in their 7th loss of the season and 2nd loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Saturday, a former Colts center with no professional or college coaching experience prior to this season, took over after the Colts fired Frank Reich ahead of Week 10. Reich spent 5 seasons with the Colts, reaching the playoffs just twice (2018, 2020) and finishing with a 40-33-1 record in the regular season. Indianapolis’ offensive struggles have continued this season after ranking 10th in scoring last season at 26.5 points per game. Entering Week 13, the Colts are averaging 15.8 points per game–they’re tied with the Texans who are ranked 31st in the league. Ryan went 22-of-34 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Monday night’s loss. RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

RELATED: Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts – “I thought we had plenty of time”

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys completed the season series sweep with a 28-20 win over the New York Giants last Thursday evening. Prescott finished 21-of-30 for 261 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Ezekiel Elliot, who was playing in his second game since returning from a knee injury, rushed for a season-high 92 yards and ignited the Cowboys’ offense scoring the first touchdown of the game. On defense, the Cowboys had 3 sacks–two of them were from OLB Micah Parsons who ranks 2nd in the league with 12 sacks this season. Dallas currently has one of the best defenses in the NFL and leads all teams with 45 sacks this season. The Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 games and enter Week 13 just two games behind Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead.

RELATED: Dak Prescott – I am as confident as I can be in this team


How to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys Game

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!