According to NFL Writer Rob Maaddi, the Indianapolis Colts remain among the NFL’s teams that are currently the least vaccinated for COVID-19—at under 50%, along with the Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, and Los Angeles Chargers:
Washington, Arizona, Indianapolis and Los Angeles Chargers remain under 50% vaccination for COVID-19 as of today, per a source familiar with the NFL’s vaccination rates. Pittsburgh, Miami, Carolina & Denver have highest rates & are among 7 teams with at least 85% vaccinated.— Rob Maaddi (@RobMaaddi) July 15, 2021
It was reported roughly a month ago that the Colts were among the league’s least vaccinated teams, and it appears that still holds true today.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard stated two weeks ago that while he respects every player’s ability to make such a choice, he still believes each player should get vaccinated.
He was also optimistic that more Colts players could get vaccinated in the coming weeks, as the team’s offseason isn’t quite over yet.
That being said, time is starting to run out for Indianapolis to significantly improve its team-wide vaccination numbers, as the Colts are around two weeks away from the start of team training camp—with the NFL regular season kicking off just a few weeks thereafter.
League teams with low vaccination numbers face greater challenges as it relates to the NFL’s protocol for COVID-19—having much greater restrictions imposed for unvaccinated players (*assuming the current active protocol carries over into the NFL regular season):
The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to updated COVID-19 protocols for 2021 training camp and preseason, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 16, 2021
How different will life by for vaccinated and unvaccinated players? From the memo that just went to clubs: pic.twitter.com/8yMPW0JBWZ
Those league imposed restrictions significantly affect training, workouts, traveling, team bonding, accessibility to teammates and coaches, and other team logistics.
Again, the player’s ability to make such a choice should be respected (along with being cautious with what they’re putting into their bodies—which is their continued livelihood as professional athletes after all).
They should rightfully want to make a fully informed decision before doing anything.
However, with the reputable science and data clearly pointing in one direction, and in a league where parity reigns—meaning each NFL win/loss can be the difference between making or missing the playoffs, hosting a playoff game, and/or winning a divisional title, at what potential cost does it come for the Colts?
(I mean if a key player misses a game he otherwise wouldn’t....)
Therefore, one cannot help but reasonably wonder how this may impact the Colts’ ultimate success this upcoming season—for a team that may be poised for a deep AFC playoff run—with the right breaks.