Carson Wentz COVID Update: What Positive Colts QB Test Means For Week 17, Playoff Odds
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The Colts’ COVID outbreak reached quarterback on Tuesday afternoon. Starter Carson Wentz was placed on the COVID roster ahead of the team’s Week 17 game against the Raiders and now the Colts will have to prepare to be without him in a key competition.
Indianapolis is 9-6 and is currently the AFC’s top Wild Card. That said, there are eight teams in the AFC that have a 9-6 or 8-7 record, so the team’s grip on any of the three Wild Card slots is tenuous at best.
The Colts appear to be in control of their own destiny, and winning would qualify them for the playoffs. However, with Wentz potentially unavailable, the path to doing so becomes more difficult.
Here’s everything you need to know about Wentz getting on the COVID list, including his vaccine status and how long he could be on the list.
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Does Carson Wentz play against the Raiders?
Carson Wentz’s status for Sunday’s game has yet to be determined. Under current NFL COVID protocols, unvaccinated players must be quarantined for 10 days after testing positive for COVID. However, if the league changes that period to five days in accordance with new CDC guidelines, Wentz could return, as reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelisserio.
What we know: Like all players who test positive, Wentz now enjoys 90 days of testing leave and is therefore no longer at risk of missing other matches via Super Bowl LVI.
– Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 28, 2021
It seems that these changes are very close. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the league and the NFLPA are set to agree to cut quarantine time in half for COVID-positive players.
The NFL and NFLPA are set to adopt new CDC guidelines that would reduce quarantine time from 10 days to five days for all players, including those who are not vaccinated. A deal could be made today, according to the sources.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2021
If that deal comes as planned, Wentz could have a chance to play. However, that is not guaranteed, so if the deal does not come through, or if it does not apply retroactively to players already on the COVID roster, the Colts could be forced to use a starting quarterback. different for the first time this season.
Right now, sixth-round rookie pick Sam Ehlinger is Wentz’s replacement. He believes he has a chance to start against the Raiders with veteran practice team Brett Hundley backing him. Third-year quarterback James Morgan is also on the practice squad, but he appears to be the squad’s third option in the role.
Could the Colts add another quarterback? According to The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, the Colts are considering calling Philip Rivers to see if the veteran, who started for the Colts in 2020, would be ready to return to the squad to help replace Wentz.
Colts need to call Philip Rivers. I heard that we are discussing it.
– Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 28, 2021
Is Carson Wentz vaccinated?
Carson Wentz is not vaccinated. As a result, he will have to quarantine either a minimum of five days (if the NFL COVID protocols are changed as planned) or a minimum of 10 days (if the protocols do not change).
Wentz revealed he was not vaccinated before the season after a small outbreak of COVID hit the Colts. He said it was a “personal decision” not to get it.
“I’m not going to go into detail on why, but it’s a personal decision for me and my family,” Wentz told reporters in early September, according to The Athletic. “I respect everyone’s decision and just ask that everyone do the same for me. I know this is not the world we live in. Not everyone will see it the same way. . But no one really knows what is going on in someone else’s household and how things are handled. “
Wentz admitted that he went back and forth about his choice, but eventually came to the conclusion that he was not vaccinated.
“Believe me, I’ve weighed a lot of things. I know what’s at stake. I know all of these things,” Wentz said. “It’s just where I am, where I am with my family.”
Wentz said “understanding the protocol” will be essential for him this season. He’s been following him closely and that’s part of why he’s almost always seen wearing a mask on the Colts sideline. But even still, he couldn’t escape the COVID outbreak that has been a major issue in the NFL, and for the Colts, in recent weeks.
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When can Carson Wentz come back from the COVID list?
Wentz must sit at least 10 days before being eligible to return from the COVID list, under current NFL rules. Since he was placed on the roster on Tuesday, December 28, that would put him in the running to be eligible for a return on Friday, January 7, which, in turn, would make him likely that he could play in Week 18. .
That said, Wentz must remain asymptomatic to return by January 7. If he develops symptoms that persist past that date, his eligibility would be a major question mark for the Colts heading into their final game of the regular season.
However, it should be noted that on December 27, the CDC changed the recommended COVID isolation period from 10 to five days. The NFL has also had discussions about whether to make these changes, as noted by Schefter and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, so if these changes are made, Wentz may only need to self-isolate for five days. As such, he could be eligible to return as early as Sunday, Jan. 2, in which case he wouldn’t miss a moment – if the Colts deemed him fit enough to play.
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How Carson Wentz’s potential absence could impact Colts’ playoff chances
The Colts are currently 9-6 and are considered the No.5 seed in the AFC playoff race. However, only one game separates them from the No.10 Raiders, which they play in Week 17.
If the Colts lost to the Raiders, they would end up at 9-7. This would guarantee the Titans the AFC South crown regardless of their outcome against the Dolphins, so the Colts could only enter the playoffs as a wild card. And if they lose, they would have to rely on the tiebreakers to keep them in one of those last three playoff spots.
The good news for the Colts is that they have an advantage in several key tie-breaks. They are 3-2 divisional record with one game to go and they are also 7-3 against opponents in the AFC, tied with the Patriots for best among wild card teams.
A loss to the Raiders would drop the Colts to 7-4 against opponents from the AFC. However, they would still be among the best in this category, pending the results of other matches. Then they would only have to worry about the potential for a head-to-head tie-break; they would have an advantage over the Patriots, Dolphins and Bills in any head-to-head tiebreaker while they would be at a disadvantage against the Ravens, Titans and Raiders (if they lose Sunday).
A win would make the Colts’ path to the playoffs a lot easier, but they certainly wouldn’t be eliminated with a loss. The path to melee would just become more difficult.
Indianapolis is set to close the season at Jacksonville in Week 18, if their playoff fate depended on it.
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