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The Rush: Kyrie returns, Beal gets vaccinated, and Philip Rivers stays retired

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Brooklyn Nets PG Kyrie Irving returns and he discusses how he kept himself in shape, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal changes course and gets vaccinated, and despite Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz joining the COVID list, Philip Rivers is staying retired.

Video Transcript

KYRIE IRVING: I had to sit down and really evaluate things and see it from their perspective, meaning the organization and my teammates. You know, I just really empathized, and I understood their choice to say, if you're not going to be vaccinated, fully vaccinated, then you can't be a full participant.

JARED QUAY: In the game of chicken between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets over Kyrie's vaccination status and him playing this season, you got to think Kyrie won. The Brooklyn Nets welcomed their point guard back with open arms. Only for road games of course, because you still need to be vaccinated in the state of New York to congregate in indoor venues.

- We can do aerobics in here. So many activities!

JARED QUAY: So how did Kyrie spend his time away?

KYRIE IRVING: Well, I'm thankful to everybody that helped me stay in shape during the time, playing in the middle school gyms, playing in some college gyms.

JARED QUAY: Oh, he spent time playing in middle school gyms. Now, I know he wasn't playing against middle schoolers. At least, I'm pretty sure he wasn't. But there's something funky about an unvaccinated guy hanging out in a middle school where kids also have to play.

- Say it, don't spray it.

JARED QUAY: Not every pro athlete is totally irresponsible. If you remember, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was vocally against taking the vaccine before the season kicked off.

- I'm good, thanks.

JARED QUAY: Well, Bradley has received his vaccine.

- Thank the gods.

JARED QUAY: Sure, he was definitely spurred on by Washington's vaccine mandate for indoor entertainment venues, that goes into effect on January 15.

- So soon?

JARED QUAY: But unlike Kyrie, he's going to skip the whole "not playing home games" conundrum, because that gets confusing. What is a team to do when they lose their starting quarterback to COVID and they're in the middle of a playoff hunt?

- Don't panic, don't panic!

JARED QUAY: They call the retired quarterback with 28 or 29 kids.

- This is not what I was expecting.

JARED QUAY: Philip Rivers got the call from Colts head coach Frank Reich to come out of retirement, with Carson Wentz hitting the COVID list.

- (SINGING) Another one bites the dust.

JARED QUAY: Rivers' answer seems to have been a big no, since he isn't suiting up for the Colts this week. But I'm just putting it out there. There ain't no way in hell Philip's wife is going to let him suit up and just dump and leave all the kids on her right after the New Year. Nope, it's not happening.

- Oh, not a chance.

JARED QUAY: Look, I only got one daughter, and I know if I tried that, I might not make it out with both my eyes. So Philip Rivers, you got like 50 kids, man. You can't leave.