Carson Wentz weighing 'every pro and con' of vaccine after return from COVID list

A day after Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard spoke of the "consequences" of not being vaccinated, Carson Wentz returned to practice from the COVID-19 list.

He's still not sure about receiving a vaccine.

The Colts quarterback spoke at length with reporters on Thursday, describing his vaccination status as "a fluid process."

“This has been a fluid process for me this whole time," Wentz said, per the Indianapolis Star. ..."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.”

'I'm not going to act like I'm an expert'

Wentz declined to address the perceived cons of receiving a safe, FDA-approved vaccine that's proven highly efficacious against the impact and slows the transmission of a virus that's killed more than 640,000 Americans. He admitted that he doesn't know much about it.

"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,” Wentz added.

Carson Wentz returned from COVID-19 quarantine on Thursday after a close contact. (Marc Lebryk/Reuters)
Carson Wentz returned from COVID-19 quarantine on Thursday after a close contact. (Marc Lebryk/Reuters)

'Frustrated' Colts brass urges players to get vaccinated

Wentz hasn't actually said whether or not he's received a vaccine. But his placement in a five-day quarantine this week after a close contact with an infected person is a status reserved for unvaccinated players. His All-Pro teammate linebacker Darius Leonard hasn't been vaccinated. He told reporters on Thursday he still needs more information.

As Wentz and some of his teammates missed practice this week while on the COVID-19 list, both Ballard and Colts head coach Frank Reich urged their players to get vaccinated.

"There's consequences to not being vaccinated," Ballard told reporters on Wednesday. "Do I think everybody should be vaccinated? Absolutely.

"I'm for the vaccine. Frank is for the vaccine. We have a lot of guys on our team who are for the vaccine. Is it 100% perfect? No. But it's a good thing."

After starters Ryan Kelly, Eric Fisher and Zach Pascal joined Wentz on the COVID-19 list, Reich had this to say:

“I’ve had a lot of conversations and I think it’s fair to say, at times, I get frustrated," Reich said on Tuesday. “I do try to listen and respect, but I also don’t shy away from saying what I believe and what I believe is right — the research that I’ve done."

In addition to the risks to public and personal health, declining a COVID-19 vaccine has the potential of significant football consequences in the NFL. Had Wentz been placed in quarantine during the regular season that starts next week, the Colts could've been without their starting quarterback for a game. If Wentz and enough of his unvaccinated teammates were part of an outbreak during the regular season, the Colts would forfeit a game, and players from both teams would forfeit their checks for the canceled game.