Indianapolis Colts Add Quarterback Carson Wentz to COVID List
The Indianapolis Colts will secure a spot in the playoffs Sunday with a win at home over the Las Vegas Raiders. A task that got much tougher on Tuesday with the news that starting quarterback Carson Wentz will miss the game after being placed on the team's Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Wentz becomes the 15th player added to the list in the past week which also includes the following players according to the team's website:
- S Jahleel Addae
- CB T.J. Carrie
- LB Malik Jefferson
- RB Marlon Mack
- T Braden Smith
- G Mark Glowinski
- LB Darius Leonard
- G Quenton Nelson
- WR Zach Pascal
- DE Kemoko Turay
- S Khari Willis
- CB Rock Ya-Sin
- CB Chris Wilcox (practice squad)
- TE Farrod Green (practice squad)
It is unknown at this time whether Wentz tested positive for the virus, or if he was considered a close contact of a team member who did. He admitted early in the season he is unvaccinated, for what that's worth. As Ari Meirov who writes for Pro Football Focus noted on Twitter shortly after the news broke, the difference between a player testing positive and being a close contact in terms of the number of days they're forced to miss is significant.
If Wentz did test positive, it is possible the 10-day window could change if the NFL adjusts their policy now that the CDC has adjusted their recommendation to five days of isolation for those who test positive. Chase Goodbread with NFL.com reported Tuesday the League is currently in discussion with the Player's Association about reducing that number, and ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported a change in the policy could be announced before the day is done.
If that happens, it is possible Wentz could play. According to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, Wentz's fifth and final day of isolation would fall on Saturday making him eligible to play on Sunday if he's healthy enough to do so.
If the policy isn't changed (although it sounds like it will be soon) and the 10-day isolation period remains in place, Wentz's status could also impact the team's final regular season game against Jacksonville. In that case, Wentz would not be able to return to the team until Friday, January 7th, two days before the game, meaning he would get little-to-no practice time.
For now, the team is moving forward with plans of having rookie Sam Ehlinger under center for Sunday's game against the Raiders.
While many fans on Twitter were quick to overreact and assume Sunday will be an automatic loss and practically ruin the team's chances at making the playoffs as soon as news broke on Wentz, all is not lost.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the team currently has a 97% chance at making the playoffs thanks to their win over the Arizona Cardinals Christmas night. A loss to the Raiders drops that to 87% which is still a solid number. However, it would make the final game against the Jaguars a must-win. If they lose these final two games, their chances of playing in the post-season drops to 26%.
Ideally, the team takes care of business against the Raiders on Saturday, regardless of which Colts players take the field. A win locks them into a playoff spot regardless of the outcome of the final game against the Jags.
All we fans can do for now is wait and see what happens.
[Source: Indianapolis Colts on Twitter]