Frank Reich drops amazing news on Carson Wentz before Colts-Raiders
By Adam Weinrib
On Saturday came the formality. Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz, reportedly feeling asymptomatic enough to meet the NFL’s latest criteria for return, was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
That was only step one, though. It gave an indication of how Wentz, who is unvaccinated, was feeling on the surface. He believed he’d shrugged off the symptoms, sure, but it remained up to a series of medical professionals whether he’d play on Sunday in a Week 17 showdown against the Las Vegas Raiders, or whether he had some form of underlying physical damage that would hamper him — like a lung issue, hidden below the surface.
Hence, Colts fans celebrated the newfound protocols and Saturday’s verdict, but still had to cross their fingers and wait for gameday to get an official recommendation.
About three hours before kickoff, Frank Reich delivered.
Coach took to the mic, as he so often has this season, to reveal that his team had persevered through another injury scare. Wentz has been medically cleared to start Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz will start vs Las Vegas Raiders
We thank Sam Ehlinger for his several days of service standing guard, but QB1 has got this.
Based on the NFL’s now-outdated beginning-of-season protocols, Wentz would’ve had to miss a set number of days due to his vaccination status; a positive test of any kind would’ve triggered an automatic lockout.
Thanks to the revised protocols, though, all Wentz had to do was remain asymptomatic after five days to get a shot at a medical clearance. To be fair, this was no sure thing. Though the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is typically weaker (per early data), a lot of that is because of transmission through vaccinated parties. It still remains quite likely that unvaccinated players show symptoms, knocking them out for longer than the five-day wait time.
But … against all odds, there was Reich at the mic on Sunday morning, declaring Wentz had gotten through every checkpoint with flying colors.
This isn’t just another game for the Colts, either. They’ll have a great chance to lock in a playoff berth depending on the outcome.
Having their starter safely under center, and protected by a resurgent offensive line that will welcome back Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly, is a pretty solid place to start.