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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz, who recently returned from foot surgery, has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Center Ryan Kelly and wide receiver Zach Pascal were also placed on the list.
The team did not reveal why they were placed on the list. Unvaccinated players can be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list if they've been deemed a close contact of someone who has tested positive, or if they've tested positive themselves. Vaccinated players are only placed on the list if they've tested positive.
Wentz has declined to say whether or not he's vaccinated, and neither Pascal or Kelly are on the record about their vaccination status. If they're unvaccinated close contacts, which is the best-case scenario, then they'll return on Monday, presuming that their tests come back negative every day until then. But if they've tested positive, they'll be out for nearly two weeks.
Could Wentz's Week 1 start be in danger?
The Colts haven't definitively said that Wentz will start Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, but after practicing last week for the first time since his early August foot surgery, it's certainly been trending that way. Especially since Sam Ehlinger, their backup QB, will be out 5-6 weeks with a sprained knee.
But Wentz's placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list could put that in jeopardy. Here are the three scenarios for Wentz's return to camp.
If Wentz is vaccinated and tested positive, then he can come back as soon as he's asymptomatic and he's had two negative tests 24 hours apart. That could be in as little as a few days.
If Wentz is unvaccinated and is a close contact of someone who tested positive, he needs five days of negative tests before he can reenter the facility. He would be back for practice early next week if all of his tests come back negative.
If Wentz is unvaccinated and tested positive, then he must isolate for 10 days at minimum. He wouldn't be able to return to practice until late next week, just a few days before the Colts' Week 1 game.
Wentz's practice time dwindles as each option goes on. If he's unvaccinated, he could have anywhere from four days of practice before Week 1 to close to zero. That's not the best way for a still-healing quarterback to go into his first game for a new team.
There is a glint of good news: according to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Wentz is on the list as the result of close contact and not a positive test.
That means Wentz could return early next week if he tests negative for the next five days.