INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz, who was one in every of three gamers activated off the reserve/COVID-19 checklist Thursday morning, mentioned he has not shut the door on getting vaccinated.
Middle Ryan Kelly and receiver Zach Pascal additionally have been activated off the COVID checklist after the three gamers final week got here into shut contact with a Colts employees member who examined constructive.
Wentz, Kelly and Pascal have been positioned on the checklist as shut contacts as a result of they aren’t vaccinated for the coronavirus. Vaccinated gamers go on the checklist provided that they’ve a constructive check outcome.
“It has been a fluid course of for me the entire time,” Wentz mentioned about not being vaccinated. “As a household, we have been monitoring all the things we will, letting it play out so long as we will. That is the place we’re at at present. Issues can change within the subsequent coming weeks. Who is aware of the place this world goes. Who is aware of the place these protocols are going. I am not going to behave like I am an professional on a vaccine or a virus or something.”
This was purported to be an enormous week for Wentz, as he was anticipated to be a full participant within the crew portion of observe for the primary time since he injured his left foot on July 29. His aim is to play Week 1 after being out three weeks following foot surgical procedure on Aug. 2. As an alternative, the quarterback needed to stay away from the ability and participate in crew conferences by way of Zoom from his house workplace.
Wentz took a good portion of the first-team snaps in observe Thursday. The Colts is not going to observe once more till Monday.
“This taking place this week sort of woke us up on the protocol and understanding how this occurred and understanding among the grey areas with the league and ensuring we all know,” Wentz mentioned. “We all know what’s at stake and methods to keep away from it.”
Colts common supervisor Chris Ballard spoke passionately Wednesday about his perception in having his gamers vaccinated. The Colts have had one of many lowest percentages of vaccinated gamers by a crew within the NFL.
“There’s penalties to not being vaccinated,” Ballard mentioned Wednesday. “Do I believe everyone ought to be vaccinated? Completely. I am for the vaccine. [Coach] Frank [Reich] is for the vaccine. We’ve numerous guys on our crew who’re for the vaccine. Is it 100% good? No. But it surely’s a very good factor.
“It will possibly aid you from ending up within the hospital in a essential state of affairs. And it helps cease among the unfold, and people are constructive issues. However for the fellows who’ve chosen to not get vaccinated, they nonetheless perceive they’re nonetheless a part of this crew. It is their choice, however they’re nonetheless a part of our crew and so they need to handle the crew.”
Wentz and linebacker Darius Leonard, who additionally will not be vaccinated, mentioned Ballard and Reich have been open and respectful to the gamers concerning the should be vaccinated.
“They have been nice,” Wentz mentioned. “We’re all sensible. Competitively, they need everyone to [get vaccinated], and I get it and I respect the heck out of these guys. They inform us the information, they inform us their opinions. However there is no strain. It is mentioned in the precise means. We all know what’s at stake. We all know as a crew the place we need to go, and we all know a few of these issues can hinder if we allow them to and that is why now we have to do all the things we will to not let or not it’s a distraction and be on high of it with the protocol.”
A number of Colts have shied away from saying why they’ve but to get vaccinated, however All-Professional Leonard defined his reasoning for the primary time after observe Thursday.
“I am a down South man, desirous to see extra,” Leonard mentioned. “Need to get educated about it. Have to consider it. Do not need to rush into it. Need to see all the things. I am not pro-vax, I am not anti-vax. I’ve to be taught. When you do not know so much about one thing, you must educate your self about it.”
The Colts have been hit exhausting with gamers positioned on the COVID-19 checklist because the begin of coaching camp.
Guard Quenton Nelson, who had been in shut contact with any individual who examined constructive, was faraway from the checklist Monday. Left deal with Eric Fisher, who’s recovering from a torn Achilles, was positioned on the COVID-19 checklist on Aug. 26. Cornerback T.J. Carrie, offensive lineman Julie’n Davenport, defensive lineman Al-Quadin Muhammad and cornerback Xavier Rhodes have additionally hung out on the checklist.
Reich and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus additionally examined constructive for COVID-19 at completely different factors in coaching camp.
In addition to Wentz, Kelly and Pascal returning, the Colts additionally positioned quarterback Sam Ehlinger and receivers T.Y. Hilton and Dezmon Patmon on injured reserve Thursday, that means they are going to miss at the very least the primary three weeks of the season.
Ehlinger is predicted to overlook 5-6 weeks with a sprained knee, and Hilton aggravated a neck damage in observe final week. Patmon suffered a foot damage within the preseason finale vs. Detroit.