This marks Ryan's first start in three weeks, after he was benched in favor of Sam Ehlinger ahead of Indy's Week 8 game. Then-head coach Frank Reich said at the time that Ryan was dealing with a Grade 2 shoulder separation, but even without the injury they would have made the change at quarterback. Ehlinger went 0-2 in his two starts with a 61.5 passing percentage, 304 yards, and two touchdowns.
Since Ryan's benching, Reich has been fired and owner Jim Irsay has hired former Colts center Jeff Saturday at interim head coach, a controversial choice who has now made his first big decision in bringing Ryan back.
Ryan was acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason in an effort to bring a consistent presence to the Colts' QB carousel of the past few years, though the veteran was 3-3-1 before Ehlinger took over. But now with a new head coach and a healthy shoulder, Ryan is getting another chance to take the reins and lead his team, starting with today's matchup with the Raiders.