Colts’ Carson Wentz: COVID-19 Vaccine Decision ‘Keeps Me Up at Night’

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Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback Carson Wentz was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday after being placed under league protocols for being a high-risk close contact with a Colts staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Wentz, who remains unvaccinated, said those protocols have kept him up at night while speaking with reporters after his activation:

“Trust me, it’s been an ongoing process, for me, for my family, and this happening this week, it kind of woke us up on the protocol, just kind of understanding how this happens and understanding some of the gray areas with the league, making sure we know what’s at stake and how to avoid it. It’s a process, I’m weighing every pro and con out there. It keeps me up at night and a lot of things go on inside my head, but it’s where we’re at right now.”

The NFL’s protocols are dramatically different for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated players:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Effective immediately, fully vaccinated club medical staff, strength and conditioning coaches and equipment staff will be required to wear masks when providing treatment, fitting equipment or directly interacting with players inside the club facility (not outdoors).

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated players and staff will continue to Mesa test every day, including off days, prior to entering the club facility and may not go inside or interact with one another while awaiting test results. Clubs required to enforce this.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The updated COVID testing cadence for the 2021 regular season continues to make it next to impossible to fill a hole with an unvaccinated player, who must go through five days of testing before being allowed in a facility. That’s an entire week of practice in-season.

Wentz did not commit to getting the vaccine, though he offered the caveat that “things could change in the next coming weeks.”

“Who knows? Who knows where this world’s going? Who knows where the protocol’s going, if that’ll change,” he added. “I’m not going to act like I’m an expert on a vaccine or a virus, so that’s just where we’re at.”

As for why he’s opted not to get vaccinated to this point, Wentz called it a “personal decision.”

“I’m not going to go in depth on why, but it’s a personal decision for me and my family,” he said. “I respect everybody else’s decision, and I just ask that everybody does the same for me.”

Between injuries and his time spent on the reserve/COVID-19 list, however, Wentz’s first season in Indianapolis after the Philadelphia Eagles traded him has gotten off to a rough start:

Jimmy Kempski @JimmyKempski

A timeline of Carson Wentz’s offseason in Indy:
1) He practiced twice.
2) He broke his foot.
3) He had surgery.
4) He was expected to return.
5) He went on the COVID list instead.
6) He came off the COVID list.
7) He’s still not getting vaccinated.

The NFL said nearly 93 percent of its players and 99 percent of its league and team staff are vaccinated, per Jabari Young of CNBC. 

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