The Indianapolis Colts have activated center Ryan Kelly, quarterback Carson Wentz and wide receiver Zach Pascal from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Zak Keefer, a writer for The Athletic.
All three starters missed a total of five days after being considered “close contacts” with a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
News: Colts have activated Carson Wentz, Ryan Kelly and Zach Pascal from the Covid list — they can practice today.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 2, 2021
TY Hilton, Sam Ehlinger and Dezmon Patmon have been placed on IR.
The Colts are already down a few starters on offense, so getting Wentz, Kelly and Pascal back is great news for a team with high expectations for the upcoming 2021 season.
For Wentz specifically, who missed three weeks after having surgery to fix an issue on his foot, all reps from this point forward as vital as he continues to eye a potential Week 1 return against the Seattle Seahawks.
Head coach Frank Reich said just a few weeks ago that, in an ideal world, he’d like to get at least two full weeks of practice with the Wentz before he plays in a game.
Additionally, GM Chris Ballard spoke on Wentz’s progression and expectations in a meeting with local media members Wednesday evening.
“He’s making really good progress,” Ballard said Wednesday. “He’s out right now. This was a week that he was going to start getting 11-on-11 work, but when he gets back, we’ll continue to monitor where he’s at. But he’s making really good progress.”
As for Kelly, who missed several weeks with a hyper-extended elbow injury, his return is just as important, too. The same can be said for Pascal, who’s been one of the team’s more reliable targets over the past two seasons, putting up back-to-back 600-yard receiving seasons.
Indianapolis has arguably the toughest 5-game stretch of any NFL team to start the season. The Seahawks, Rams, Titans, Dolphins and Ravens were all double-digit win teams last season.
With these teams awaiting them to start the season, the Colts are going to need/want as many starters healthy as possible.