Indianapolis Colts’ preparations for the upcoming 2021 NFL season have taken a huge hit after three of their players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including starting quarterback Carson Wentz and Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly. They are now in a race against time to be ready for their season opener against the Seattle Seahawks on September 12.
On Monday, the team made the announcement with receiver Zach Pascal joining Wentz and Kelly on the COVID-19 list. A source told ESPN‘s Dan Graziano that the three players were placed on the said list after they came in close contact with an Indianapolis Colts staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Wentz, Kelly, and Pascal appear to be unvaccinated players
The good news for Wentz, Kelly, and Pascal is that they can return to practice with the Colts in five days if they continue to remain asymptomatic and produce negative COVID-19 tests. However, what concerns the Colts fans is that being on the list indicates that the three players are still not vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to NFL protocols, vaccinated players would only be placed on such a list if they tested positive for COVID-19, which is not the case for Wentz, Kelly, and Pascal. Wentz was earlier asked during training camp about his stance on COVID-19 vaccines, and he told reporters, “That’s a personal decision.”
The COVID-19 list has wreaked havoc on the Indianapolis Colts’ entire training camp, with several of their key players being placed on it the past month. On Monday, Guard Quenton Nelson was removed from the list after also coming in close contact with someone who tested positive. Left tackle Eric Fisher, the former Kansas City Chief who is still recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered in the AFC Championship Game, was also placed on the COVID-19 list on August 26.
Growing list of Colts players on COVID-19 list
Other Indianapolis Colts players who also spent time on the list were cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie, offensive lineman Julien Davenport, and defensive lineman Al-Quadin Muhammad. The Colts coaching staff has not been spared as well, with head coach Frank Reich and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus also testing positive for COVID-19 at different points during their training camp.
This problem might persist for the Indianapolis Colts the entire 2021 season, given that Jim Irsay’s team has one of the lowest percentages of vaccinated players in the NFL. Given the strict protocols the NFL has laid out for unvaccinated players, Colts stars such as Wentz and Kelly might miss some important games this season if they are faced with such a scenario again.
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