Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich will miss the beginning of coaching camp after testing optimistic for COVID-19
WESTFIELD, Ind. — Indianapolis Colts followers eagerly anticipated seeing coach Frank Reich and new beginning quarterback Carson Wentz reunite Wednesday.
Seems, they will may have to attend a couple of extra days.
Normal supervisor Chris Ballard introduced Monday that Reich is anticipated to overlook the beginning of coaching camp after testing optimistic for COVID-19 late final week. Ballard believes Reich may return to the sphere early subsequent week and stated the fourth-year coach will take part in video calls with gamers and employees whereas out.
“I’m excited for coaching camp, nonetheless, I’m upset I received’t be there with the crew as we begin,” Reich stated in a press release. “I’m lucky to be totally vaccinated, and I’m asymptomatic. I’m feeling effectively, and I’m trying ahead to returning as quickly as I’m medically cleared.”
NFL guidelines enable vaccinated folks to return to the sphere after two detrimental checks at the least 24 hours aside.
Reich’s preliminary check outcomes got here again late final week.
As an alternative of appointing an interim coach, the Colts plan to separate duties between new offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and particular groups coordinator Bubba Ventrone, with Ventrone anticipated to tackle a larger workload due to the time commitments for different coaches.
Colts gamers are scheduled to report back to camp in suburban Indianapolis on Tuesday. The primary of 19 practices is scheduled to be held Wednesday — in entrance of followers for the primary time since 2019 — and almost definitely with out Reich.
“I don’t need this to change into a detrimental by way of folks working away from getting vaccinated, as a result of it’s nonetheless crucial,” Ballard stated. “I feel with Frank testing optimistic and getting COVID, and having no signs, it exhibits it (the vaccine) works.”
The announcement comes lower than per week after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knowledgeable groups canceled video games is probably not rescheduled this season, and if video games are known as off due to outbreaks amongst unvaccinated gamers, they may end in forfeits.
Indianapolis has reportedly had one of many decrease vaccination charges amongst gamers, although Ballard stated the numbers have elevated just lately and greater than 60% of Colts gamers now have acquired at the least one vaccination shot. Unvaccinated gamers, he stated, might be required to socially distance and put on masks and will face disciplinary motion if they don’t comply.
“We have got to guard the crew, we have got to maintain them secure,” Ballard stated. “We have now an amazing group and so they need to win, so I do know they will comply with the protocols. They did an unbelievable job following the protocols final yr.”
Wentz is Indy’s greatest offseason addition. He spent his first two seasons working with Reich in Philadelphia, however Wentz’s once-promising profession was derailed by the worst season of his profession final yr. He was benched for the ultimate 4 video games and was finally traded in March.
Indy believes the No. 2 general decide within the 2016 draft can revive his profession in a brand new metropolis, with a stronger supporting forged and dealing with a well-known coach.
However Reich will not be the one lacking piece when exercises kick off in suburban Indianapolis.
Two-time All-Professional linebacker Darius Leonard might be held out after having ankle surgical procedure in early June. Ballard stated Leonard needs to be prepared for the Sept. 12 season opener in opposition to Seattle.
Left sort out Eric Fisher, a two-time Professional Bowler and the projected substitute for Anthony Castonzo, went on the bodily unable to carry out checklist Sunday, and defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo, Indy’s second-round draft decide in April, was positioned on the non-football harm checklist. Each are recovering from Achilles tendon accidents sustained in January and are not anticipated to be out there for video games till October.
Second-year defensive sort out Rob Windsor additionally just lately had season-ending hip surgical procedure and went on injured reserve.
Ballard would not count on accidents or Reich’s absence to alter the coaching camp recreation plan.
“We’ll get after it, we’ve to get after it,” he stated. “We’re younger and I feel generally folks overlook that. I would nearly wager that after we get to the 53-man cutdown we’ll be one of many youthful groups within the league. So we’ve to get after it.”
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