The Indianapolis Colts have placed starting quarterback Carson Wentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Adam Schefter, an NFL reporter for ESPN.
Colts placed QB Carson Wentz on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2021
Wentz becomes the 13th starter placed on the list over the last several days. Because Wentz is unvaccinated, he’ll be out for Sunday’s home game against the Las Vegas Raiders, which is less than ideal as the Colts try to firmly secure a playoff spot with two games left in the regular season.
The earliest Wentz could return is Week 18 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Zak Keefer, a writer for The Athletic.
Now 13 Colts are on the Covid list, including seven starters and the franchise QB. We'll see if NFL protocols change, but at this point, this knocks out Wentz — who remains unvaccinated — for 10 days. He could return for the season finale in Jacksonville next Sunday.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 28, 2021
The Colts have also discussed potentially contacting former quarterback Philip Rivers, according to Keefer.
Colts need to call Philip Rivers. Have heard it's being discussed.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 28, 2021
Additionally, given the CDC’s change in COVID quarantine period going from 10 days to five, the NFLPA is in the process of discussing changes to the league’s protocols, according to Tom Pelissero.
The NFL and NFLPA are discussing potential changes to COVID protocols based on new CDC guidance that cuts the recommended isolation period from 10 days to 5 days, per sources. Nothing done yet. But changes could allow most players who test positive Mondays to play Sunday.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 28, 2021
However, Pelissero has indicated that nothing is officially done yet. But with as many players, coaches and staff members who have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the last couple of weeks, these changes — if completed in a timely manner — could be extremely beneficial to every team around the league.
As is currently stands, the Colts are once again likely to be without several starters for Sunday’s game against the Raiders.
Both Las Vegas (8-7) and Indy (9-6) are still fighting for a playoff spot, and the Colts can officially secure a playoff spot with a win on Sunday. Asking Indy to win a second straight game down multiple starters won’t be easy, especially without their franchise quarterback at the helm.