INDIANAPOLIS – Well, so much for Carson Wentz taking that giant step in being ready for the season opener this week.
A setback has occurred in Wentz’s rehab and that came Monday afternoon when the quarterback was placed on the COVID-19 list.
It is not officially known whether Wentz has tested positive for COVID-19 (potentially a two-week absence) or if he’s a close contact (just a 5-day absence).
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Monday that Wentz, along with Ryan Kelly and Zach Pascal, were all close contacts to a Colts staff member who tested positive for COVID-19. That means that none of those players are vaccinated or have yet to complete the vaccination process (two weeks removed from their final shot).
NFL’s COVID-19 Return Timelines
-If a vaccinated person tests positive and is asymptomatic, he or she will be isolated and contact tracing will promptly occur. The positive individual will be permitted to return to duty after two negative tests at least 24-hours apart and will thereafter be tested every two weeks or as directed by the medical staffs. Vaccinated individuals will not be subject to quarantine as a result of close contact with an infected person.
-If an unvaccinated person tests positive, the protocols from 2020 will remain in effect. The person will be isolated for a period of 10 days and will then be permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be subject to a five-day quarantine period if they have close contact with an infected individual.
No matter Wentz’s specific situation, he’s going to miss this week of practice, and will be isolated, which means he will not be on the practice field for what was supposed to be his first team, 11-on-11, work post-surgery—a vital step in his hope to play Week 1.
Instead of Wentz practicing three times, two of those in full pads, he will miss the entire week of work. After Thursday, the Colts aren’t practicing again until Monday.
That brings into question Wentz’s readiness for Week 1.
Frank Reich said previously that Wentz could be ready to play in the season opener with just one week of team practice, but that two weeks was the preference.
With the Colts expected to practice four times next week, that still should leave Wentz enough time to suit up for the September 12th season opener, but how effective he looks in playing that opener is another debate.
Along with Wentz, the Colts placed starting center Ryan Kelly and wide receiver Zach Pascal on the COVID list, on Monday. Kelly returned to practice last week, taking part in team activities for the first time since injuring his elbow. Pascal is taking on a bigger role now that T.Y. Hilton (neck) is going to miss time.
After practicing on Monday, the Colts will have a walk-through on Tuesday, with two practices left this week on Wednesday and Thursday.