Jim Irsay: It’s harder to depend on Carson Wentz since Wentz isn’t vaccinated

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz somehow sprained both of his ankles in Week 2 against the Rams, which gave head coach Frank Reich the unappetizing choice of Jacob Eason and Brett Hundley for the 0-2 team’s matchup against the Titans. Until Wentz appeared to make quite the recovery late in the week — ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported this weekend that Wentz was expected to start despite his injuries.

There’s also the matter of Wentz’s unvaccinated status, which the quarterback has called “fluid.” Wentz was placed on the team’s Reserve/COVID list in early September, just as he was ready to come back from a preseason ankle issue.

In a recent interview with Indianapolis’ FOX59 news, Colts owner Jim Irsay expressed some concern regarding Wentz’s injury history without implicitly doing so, and added that his vaccination status makes things much more complicated.

“I know he wants to go,” Irsay said. “I know how hard he’s worked. I know he’s respected in the locker room, and all those sorts of things. But he has to stay healthy. No one’s hiding behind the M.O. of the past — that was there. Since he came here, and going through the months we’ve gone through, there’s been difficulties. It also makes it difficult if you’re not vaccinated, because it’s harder to depend on someone if they’re not vaccinated. I mean, they have freedom of choice, and we understand that, but we’re hoping he can come back and play well.”

While Wentz remains undecided. Colts general manager Chris Ballard said in early September that he’s not on the fence at all.

“We’ve got to make sure we have enough depth, that’s critical. We have to make sure we have it covered at every position. Those guys that have chosen to not be vaccinated, they’ve got to follow the protocols to a T, to a T because there are consequences with not being vaccinated. We talked about this last time. Do I think everybody should be vaccinated? Absolutely, I do. I am for the vaccine. Frank [Reich] is for the vaccine. We have a lot of guys on our team that are for the vaccine and I want to make sure that people understand that around our community, that this is a good thing. Is it 100 percent perfect? No, no it’s not but it’s a good thing. It’s a really good thing. It can help you from ending up in the hospital in a critical situation and it helps stop some of the spread, and those are positive things.

“But for the guys who have chosen to not get vaccinated, they understand that they are still part of this team. It’s their decision but they are still a part of our team and they have to take care of the team. They have to protect the team. We’ve talked a lot about that. They have to protect the team, and being on the field because some of them are really good players, they have to do everything they can to protect the team and them playing helps us win. So they’ve got to follow the protocols to a T.”

Whether Wentz is following protocols to a T is unknown, but the same injury history that often affected him during his time with the Eagles is popping up all over again, and as availability is an ability, he’s doing himself and his team no favors with this stance.