The Indianapolis Colts have placed quarterback Carson Wentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday of Week 17. The Colts quarterback is unvaccinated and that leaves his status up in the air for a critical matchup on Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders with playoff implications.
Is it possible for Carson Wentz to play in Week 17 vs. Raiders?
12/28 5:54 p.m. update: The NFL and NFLPA agreed to changed the protocols to allow for a player who tests positive to return as soon as five days after the positive test is collected. Carson Wentz could return as soon as this coming Saturday for Week 17 vs. the Raiders.
Memo to NFL teams a short while ago stating players are eligible to return five days from when a positive test was collected. So for #Colts QB Carson Wentz (and any player who tested positive yesterday or before), that means he can be cleared as soon as Saturday. pic.twitter.com/niFRQRc5Zn— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 28, 2021
12/28 2:20 p.m. update: Albert Breer tweeted on Tuesday, “Out 10 days, barring protocol changes.” This would seem to suggest it was a positive test and not a close contact.
We know Wentz is unvaccinated, but we don’t know yet if he is conclusively out for Sunday’s game. An unvaccinated player can go on the list if he is a close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, or if he tests positive for COVID-19.
If a player is a close contact, he must quarantine for a minimum of five days. If he is not testing positive at the end of five days, he can return to play. The close contact is based on when the contact happened, not when the player was placed on the list. If the close contact was Monday or earlier, the five day clock has already begun and he could clear it for Sunday.
If Wentz tested positive, he currently has to quarantine for a minimum of ten days. That would guarantee he misses Sunday’s game, but Tom Pelissero is reporting the NFL and NFLPA are discussing changing guidelines based on the CDC’s move cutting isolation periods from ten days to five days for asymptomatic individuals. If that change happens this week and is retroactively applied, there is a chance Wentz plays.
If he cannot play, Sam Ehlinger is his backup and Brett Hundley and James Morgan join him in the QB room.