Colts Close Practice Facility After Several Positive COVID Tests [UPDATE]
UPDATE: OCTOBER 16TH AT 11:00 A.M.
The team has released a statement through their website saying the four believed to positive tests were discovered to be false-positives. The team will reopen their practice facility Friday afternoon, and Sunday's game against the Bengals will move forward as scheduled with a Noon CST kickoff.
It took six weeks into the season before it happened, but COVID-19 has finally hit the Indianapolis Colts.
The team announced Friday morning through its Twitter account they "were informed several individuals" within the organization had tested positive for COVID-19. The statement also said the team was in the process of confirming those results, and they were closing the team's practice facility effective immediately.
Privacy laws prohibits the team from naming the individuals who tested positive, and they have not stated whether those who have potentially tested positive are players, members of the coaching staff, front office employees, or employees with another department.
This isn't the first time the team has had a positive test result, but it has been a while since it happened. Two players, wide receiver Malik Henry and cornerback Jackson Porter both tested positive back in late July just as training camp opened. Both were quarantined and were cleared to return to the team in early August, but neither made the final roster before the start of the season.
The question now becomes, will their home game at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon happen? If you've followed the NFL season, you know this isn't the first time the league has had COVID throw the schedule out of whack. The Tennessee Titans have had several players and other members of the organization test positive over the past month which forced the league to reschedule their game against the Steelers for later in the year, and most recently move their game against Buffalo to this past Tuesday evening. In another case, the New England Patriots had to move their game against Kansas City to a Tuesday night last week after they had a couple of players test positive, one of which was revealed to be starting quarterback, Cam Newton.
As Jay Morrison, who covers the Bengals for The Athletic pointed out in a tweet after the news broke this morning, in this case, rescheduling the game wouldn't be terribly difficult as the Colts bye week is scheduled for next week.
Hopefully that won't be necessary, but in the grand scheme of things, playing a football game is insignificant compared to the health and safety of all involved.
We'll keep an eye on the situation and let you know what decision the team and the League makes. However, that decision may not come until sometime over the weekend.
[Sources: Indianapolis Colts / Jay Morrison Twitter]