With Carson Wentz in COVID-19 protocols, the Indianapolis Colts reached out to an old friend for help.
It sounds like he wasn’t interested.
Head coach Frank Reich told reporters on Wednesday that he called Philip Rivers to discuss the “situation” involving Wentz.
“Yes, I have talked to Philip,” Reich said, per the Indianapolis Star. “You guys know that. I’m close to him. We’ve talked all year long.
“I’ve kind of followed his coaching career, talking about his high school team that he coached. I did talk to him fairly recently, and he was on a Christmas vacation with his family. I have talked to him about our situation here, but there’s nothing further to report.”
He didn’t divulge what Rivers said. But “nothing further to report” is a clear indication that Rivers won’t be suiting up for the Colts — not this week, at least.
Rivers has opened the door to an NFL return
Rivers was an eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers before spending his final NFL season with the Colts last season. He’s now 40, retired and spending his time coaching high school football in Alabama — when he’s not with his abundant family, of course.
But he opened the door to an NFL return in November, telling the Los Angeles Times that he’d “listen” if the New Orleans Saints called after Jameis Winston suffered a season-ending ACL injury. The Saints apparently didn’t make the call then. But they reportedly did when things got desperate last week. Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune reported that the Saints considered Rivers when COVID-19 left them with only rookie Ian Book at quarterback ahead of their Monday night game against the Miami Dolphins.
It’s not clear how that played out, other than Rivers not joining the team. But it makes sense that Rivers wouldn’t be interested in disrupting his life for what could turn out to be a one-week stint with either team. With the Colts, they may not end up needing the services of another quarterback anyway.
Will Wentz be ready to play against the Raiders?
When Wentz landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, NFL rules dictated that he’d have to isolate for 10 days because he’s not vaccinated. Those rules changed hours after his placement on the list. Now players are only required to isolate for five days. His fifth day will be Saturday. As long as he tells the Colts and the NFL that he’s not feeling any symptoms, he’ll be allowed to suit up against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday in a critical matchup with both teams fighting for a playoff spot.
If Wentz can’t go, rookie Sam Ehlinger is slated to make his first NFL start.