Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz, center Ryan Kelly and wide receiver Zach Pascal have been activated off the COVID-19 list, multiple sources reported Thursday.
Colts have activated QB Carson Wentz, C Ryan Kelly and WR Zach Pascal from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 2, 2021
They also placed QB Sam Ehlinger, WR T.Y. Hilton and WR Dezmon Patmon on IR.
All three players were placed on the list earlier this week after coming into contact with a staff member who had tested positive for COVID, ESPN said.
Multiple personnel in the Colts organization were placed on the COVID list during the preseason, with the team entering training camp with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the league.
“It is a real issue and that’s why we’re working at it," head coach Frank Reich said at the time. "We believe it’s best to get vaccinated. We believe that that’s the best thing."
Wentz has come under heavy scrutiny lately for speaking out against getting the COVID vaccine and asking for others to "respect his decision" to not get inoculated.
Carson Wentz on not being vaccinated: pic.twitter.com/YsNxTmiIbD— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) September 2, 2021
Although Reich added in his previous comments that getting vaccinated is a "personal decision," it's fair to wonder how the organization views Wentz's decision now to abstain from getting the shot. Earlier this week, the New England Patriots released former starting quarterback Cam Newton one week after he went on the COVID reserve list and it was revealed he wasn't vaccinated and was skirting the rules. It's fair to wonder if Newton's anti-vaccination stance played a role in his release following reports the team was frustrated with his behavior.
The NFL itself has been cracking down on players who don't comply with their COVID safety policy, including handing out fines to unvaccinated Buffalo Bills players Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie for not wearing masks at the teams' practice facility.