Carson Wentz is off the COVID-19 list. Now it’s time to see whether he’ll be ready to go for Week 1.
Wentz, center Ryan Kelly and receiver Zach Pascal were activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, the Colts announced. Indianapolis announced Wentz’s placement on the list on Monday, and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported all three Colts were considered high-risk close contacts after coming into contact with a staff member who tested positive for the virus.
Players who are not fully vaccinated are subject to a five-day quarantine after being determined to be a high-risk close contact, per the NFL-NFLPA protocol, and can return to the team at the end of the five-day period if they test negative and remain asymptomatic. Wentz, Kelly and Pascal being removed from the COVID list Thursday means their date of close contact preceded the announcement of their inclusion.
All of this explaining leads us to one very important conclusion for Wentz and the Colts: He still has a chance to get full-participation reps in practice this week to test out the status of his recovered foot before determining whether he can take the field for Indianapolis’ season opener against the Seattle Seahawks.
Colts coach Frank Reich said last weekend this would be a “big week” for figuring out whether Wentz is ready. Instead, he spent the first half of the week in isolation while on the COVID-19 list. But Thursday’s activation still leaves time for him to get some work done to better understand where he is on his path back to full action.
It’s a shorter timeframe for Wentz, but thanks to the preseason’s bye week, he’ll have the next few days available to test his foot. It will be a limited test in terms of total days, as he won’t quite know how his foot holds up until the 24-48 hours following his first action. And the Colts need the week ahead to properly prepare for Seattle, not just for gauging Wentz’s status.
If Wentz isn’t able to go next weekend, it’ll be backup Jacob Eason’s job to fill. Fellow backup Sam Ehlinger was placed on injured reserve on Thursday, along with receivers T.Y. Hilton and Dezmon Patmon.
The next 72 hours or so will inform the Colts on how to proceed. They’ll hope it’s with their new starting QB.
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