Colts hope history will help them prepare to face Nick Foles

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 2019 scouting footage of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles is very limited.

The footage consists of only 11 snaps, with eight being pass plays, because a broken collarbone injury in Week 1 has kept Foles on the sideline. But Foles is back and will make his first start since Week 1 when the Jaguars (4-5) visit the struggling Colts (5-4) on Sunday (1 p.m., CBS) in Indianapolis.

"We treat it like we did with [Miami quarterback] Ryan Fitzpatrick and all the years he played," Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said. "Now we go back to when he played with the Eagles. See what he did well, what routes he likes to throw well. Things like that. Definitely have to dig deep at what makes him a good quarterback. Then you watch the first game of the season. See what routes and formations they were running when he was in the game before he got hurt."

Foles signed a four-year, $88 million contract with the Jaguars during the offseason. He replaced Blake Bortles, who never lived up to expectations during his five seasons with the Jaguars. Foles was signed to stabilize the quarterback position but has missed the past eight games.

There are several connections that could help Indianapolis prepare for Foles. Colts coach Frank Reich was the Eagles' offensive coordinator when Foles replaced an injured Carson Wentz and helped lead Philadelphia to the Super Bowl in 2017. Current Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was the quarterbacks coach of the Eagles that season.

"I have the utmost respect for [Foles]," Reich said. "He is an elite deep-ball thrower, very smart, can make all the throws, a great leader and really a good quarterback. So this is a good test for us."

The connections don't stop there for the Colts.

Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus was on Dallas' staff when the Cowboys played the Eagles twice a season. Reich, who is typically hands-off with the defense, spent some time Eberflus this week giving his coordinator some extra pointers on Foles that might help.

"You can look in various spots," Eberflus said. "We're just looking at all aspects of it to try and get a grasp of what he's good at. And we know what he's good at. He's good at a lot of stuff. He can do a lot of things. He's got great command of the offense, he's got great touch on the football and he does a lot of stuff really well."

The Jaguars are 11th in the league in total offense, including 13th in passing, with Gardner Minshew starting the past eight games. They could improve in that area with Foles back. He threw for 1,413 yards and completed 72.3% of his pass attempts while filling in for Wentz for five games last season with the Eagles. The Colts have given up fewer than 189 yards passing in five of their nine games this season.

“At the end of the day, Frank's not going to be the one out there," Foles said. "I know he'll have something schemed up and everything, but I'm going to go out there and trust my teammates and play, read and react. Frank was a big part of getting that out of me. He was the one who recognized that before the playoff run that the way that we were designing plays for me wasn't exactly my strength, and he was someone who observed that.

"And he impacted me because he recognized that in me. So he knows that about me, but if ... we're doing the right thing and executing, we're going to be all right from a read-and-react situation."