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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz has landed on the Covid-19 reserve list, but the unvaccinated player could be back in action on Sunday under revised NFL guidelines.
NFL network reported that Wentz tested positive for coronavirus, although the team did not confirm that.
Under former NFL guidelines that would have meant 10 days in isolation, but on Tuesday the league in consultation with the NFL Players Association, adopted new rules following new CDC guidelines that call for a reduced isolation period for those without symptoms regardless of vaccination status.
The league sent a memo to teams on Tuesday outlining the new protocols. Players who test positive will be eligible to return to team activities five days after the test sample was given provided they have no fever and other symptoms, such as a cough, are absent or "improved."
The individual must be cleared by a team doctor, and local public health regulations must be followed.
That made it more likely that Wentz would be available for Sunday's key clash with the Las Vegas Raiders.
With a record of 9-6, the Colts are in the first AFC wild card spot, with New England also at 9-6 and four teams, including the Raiders, within striking distance at 8-7.
Wentz is the 15th player currently on the Covid list for the Colts, but they aren't the only team grappling with the Omicron variant surge in the United States as the season hurtles toward the playoffs.
"This is what we prepare for, for hitting adversity like this, things you don't expect but this is probably in the category of something that we could expect and that it would just be a matter of time before it was going to hit us," Colts coach Frank Reich said.