UPDATE: The Colts activated cornerback T.J. Carrie from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, August 2.
WESTFIELD – The impact of COVID-19 again is being felt by the Indianapolis Colts.
With the team’s first training camp practice set for today at 10 a.m., three players have been placed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list: cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad.
The Colts already are operating without coach Frank Reich, who announced Monday he had tested positive for COVID-19. The team is hopeful Reich will be cleared to return to the practice field early next week.
The Colts remain one of the NFL’s least-vaccinated teams despite the constant urging of owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard, Reich and team leaders who have opted to get vaccinated. Monday, Ballard said more than 60% of the roster has been vaccinated.
Ballard insisted getting vaccinated is “the right thing to do. You want to get vaccinated because you’re not going to die . . . you’re not going to end up on a ventilator in the hospital.
“That’s why you want to get vaccinated. And it reduces the chances of spreading it. That’s why. Guys that make that decision (not to get vaccinated), OK, fine. But there’s consequences to protect the team.’’
When players met the media for the first time Tuesday, several admitted they had been vaccinated, including nickel cornerback Kenny Moore II, linebacker Zaire Franklin, running back Nyheim Hines and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
All mentioned the vaccination is a personal decision, but Buckner said his decision was somewhat simple. He missed a pivotal loss to the Tennessee Titans after testing positive – he was asymptomatic – and feared infecting those around him.
“I felt like I let my team down when I got it,’’ he said. “You’re following protocols and this and that, (but) it’s a virus. Eventually somehow it’s going to get you or whatever. If you haven’t gotten it, you’re very fortunate.
“It was terrible because I could have done my job that Sunday. I was at home watching the game. I was frustrated. I know I could have played a part and could have helped up win that game.’’
The three players who tested positive are critical members of the defense.
Rhodes is a starter and Carrie a top backup. Muhammad has been instrumental in coordinator Matt Eberflus’ defensive line rotation.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.