INDIANAPOLIS – It’s time for the final 3-day break for the Colts until their mini-bye week in early November.
Thursday brought the first full-padded 11-on-11 work for Carson Wentz as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
What did we learn about the Colts on Thursday?
- Carson Wentz was back to practice on Thursday and that meant his first 11-on-11 full-padded work of his young tenure with the Colts. Frank Reich said Wentz got ‘most of the team reps’ and he liked how his starting quarterback looked in returning to practice. As Reich said on Thursday, barring another setback for Wentz, he will be the starting quarterback in Week One. The head coach did acknowledge that Wentz missed two ‘hard’ practices this week, adding to the hurdles in this foot rehab. Remember, with the Colts away from training camp mode, that means the media practice viewing is just 20 minutes of practice, and no team activities.
- Fresh off the COVID-list and the Thursday practice, Wentz did go a bit deeper as to why he is unvaccinated. “It is a personal decision, and I’m not going to go in depth on why, but it’s a personal decision for me and my family,” Wentz said. “I respect everybody else’s decision, and I just ask that everybody does the same for me. I know that’s not the world we live in. Not everyone is going to equally do things the same, but no one really knows what’s going in someone else’s household, and how things are being handled. It’s a personal decision, that’s just where I’m at on it, and with the protocols and everything the way they are. For us, it’s all about understanding them clearly and making sure we’re dotting our I’s, crossing our T’s, so we can avoid what happened this week.”
- What did Wentz learn from being a close contact and missing valuable practice time? That understanding the NFL COVID protocols is an absolute must. “I learned that it can be tough to avoid some close contacts, and really, trying to further understand it and push the league to make it clear to us…how we can avoid those situations,” Wentz said. “I could dive into the details, but I don’t need to. I don’t think anybody made any big mistakes. It’s just kind of the way it unfolded, and so we learn from it, and we’ll do everything we can.” Wentz added that his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine is a fluid decision and something that could change.
- As far as Wentz and his foot, he thinks it’s in a “pretty good place” despite the missed time. Wentz is optimistic that he’ll be under center for Week 1.
- Darius Leonard also met the media on Thursday. I will credit Leonard for fielding vaccine related questions for about 10 minutes on Thursday and not shying away from things. You can agree or disagree with Leonard’s opinion, but he’s the first unvaccinated Colts player to really open up about an issue that’s so real within this football team right now. Leonard said that he has questions about the long-term effect of the vaccine, and wants more information before committing to the vaccine.
- It appeared as the following Colts were not practicing on Thursday: TE-Jack Doyle, DT-Antwaun Woods, DE-Kemoko Turay and C-Danny Pinter.
- To make room for the returns off the COVID list of Carson Wentz, Ryan Kelly and Zach Pascal, the Colts placed three players on injured reserve. WR-T.Y. Hilton (neck), QB-Sam Ehlinger (knee) and WR-Dezmon Patmon (foot) will each miss at least three games in going on IR for their respective athletes. At this point, the 53-man roster of the Colts appears to be pretty stable. Perhaps we see a little tweaking between now and the September 12th opener. But I’m not expecting a ton.
- The Colts will now have 3 days off before getting back to work on Monday. The team will then have an off day on Tuesday, followed by a normal regular season practice schedule Wednesday-Friday, leading into their Week 1 matchup next Sunday vs. Seattle.