Report: Colts 'Optimistic' Carson Wentz Can Clear COVID Protocols Before Raiders Game

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2021

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) reacts to a play during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

The Indianapolis Colts are hopeful of having Carson Wentz activated in time for Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

Fowler said on Get Up there are still hurdles for the 2017 Pro Bowler to clear:

“I’m hearing that the Colts are optimistic that Carson Wentz can get removed from the COVID protocol list by Saturday. But a lot has to happen. He has to remain asymptomatic, he has to be cleared by 4 p.m. on Saturday, then he has to be medically cleared on Sunday. So they’re hopeful, but it’s not a slam dunk.”

Indianapolis placed Wentz on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday. At the time, it appeared the Colts were all but assured to start Sam Ehlinger on Sunday.

Head coach Frank Reich confirmed he called Philip Rivers "about our situation here," a sign of how the team was exhausting every option at its disposal. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio ruled out a spectacular return of retired QB Andrew Luck. 

But the Colts got some good news in the form of the NFL's new rules on the isolation period for players who test positive for COVID-19. Following a broad recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, players can leave isolation after as little as five days if they remain asymptomatic.

That opened the door for Wentz to rejoin the team as early as Saturday, which would be a big boost as Indianapolis looks to clinch a playoff berth.

At 9-6, the Colts are second in the AFC South, one game behind the Tennessee Titans. They're on track to least seal a wild-card place, though, and victory over the Raiders will be enough to put them through to the postseason.