The Indianapolis Colts find themselves in the midst of the AFC playoff hunt. They’re 9-6, one game back of the Tennessee Titans for the AFC South lead, and fighting to make sure they get the best seed possible. And if they win this weekend, they clinch a playoff spot. It would be a pretty terrible time for one of the key players to test positive for COVID and need to miss time, especially if that person chose to remain vaccinated, which means he’ll have to miss a lot more time.

But that’s the position Carson Wentz has put the Colts in as he has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Wentz will miss this Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders and will have a short practice window before next week’s season-ender against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If he tested positive, he will have to quarantine for 10 days. It’s also possible that Wentz is a close contact, which means he’ll be out for five days if he can produce negative tests.

It was a fear that Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel proposed just yesterday.

Rookie Sam Ehlinger will likely get the start against Las Vegas.

“We have a plan for the whole team and a plan for certain individuals, Carson being one of them,” coach Frank Reich said Monday. “I’m not going to get into specific names. Those things are being talked about and discussed.”

It’s disappointing news for Colts fans who have been excited about the way Wentz and the team have been playing. And while it may or may not have been avoidable, or at least Wentz would have been assured a faster return, that leaves the team in a bad spot this weekend in a game they need to win for the best possible playoff spot.

The news gave plenty of people around the NFL something to talk about, especially when it came to who the Colts might want to try to sign to replace Wentz in the interim.

If the Colts lose this weekend, Wentz is going to have to answer lots of questions about it as he prepares to lead them in a must-win game next week.

[Adam Schefter]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.