Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich announced Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19, which will keep him away from the team at the start of training camp:
Reich noted he is fully vaccinated and is asymptomatic.
The 59-year-old is heading into his fourth year with the Colts and has produced a 28-20 record.
After going 11-5 last season, the Colts acquired Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason to replace Philip Rivers at quarterback, which increases the importance of training camp and the upcoming preseason. Wentz does have previous experience with Reich, who was the offensive coordinator with the Eagles in 2017 during the team's run to a Super Bowl title.
Indianapolis will hope to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak after the NFL implemented strict punishments that could include forfeited games and lost pay.
Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press reported earlier this month that 73 percent of NFL players were vaccinated, but the Colts were one of two teams with less than a 50 percent rate, along with the Washington Football Team.
Colts owner/CEO Jim Irsay acknowledged the team can't mandate the vaccine for players but has encouraged the decision.
"It’s one of those things where logic has it: You get vaccinated. It’s the best choice," Irsay told reporters last week. "All choices have risks, no question, and you respect the personal choices people have out there for their health, but it just makes the most sense. … Getting vaccinated is the right thing to do."
While the vaccine does not prevent a person from testing positive for COVID-19—as Reich showed—it could limit the severity of the disease. Carla K. Johnson and Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reported that fully vaccinated people accounted for only 1.1 percent of total hospitalizations from COVID-19 in May.