Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.
“I’m fortunate to be fully vaccinated and I’m asymptomatic,” Reich said in a statement. “I’m feeling well and I’m looking forward to returning as soon as I’m medically cleared.”
Next Monday is the earliest Reich can return to camp, Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Monday.
“I think Frank testing positive and showing no symptoms shows [vaccination] works,” Ballard said. “It’s a shame in our country right now that we’ve politicized something good.”
Since NFL personnel returned to work last month, four players and 13 staffers have tested positive for COVID despite being vaccinated, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Those numbers include positive tests for one player and one staffer this past weekend, sources said. Reich tested positive Thursday or Friday, Ballard said. The GM added that a staffer is the only other member of the organization to test positive, but Ballard did not name the person.
The NFL and NFLPA have been in discussions to increase the testing cadence for vaccinated staff and players as an extra precaution.
The league and the union are also at odds over the use of wristbands to identity unvaccinated players. The NFL is allowing clubs to make players wear bright-colored wristbands, which the NFLPA believes is unnecessary.
Although Reich will be physically away from the Colts, he will still be involved in meetings through Zoom and will remain in contact with players and staff. The team is not going to name an interim coach. Special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone will handle things in practice because he has more time, but he will get help from offensive coordinator Marcus Brady and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
Colts players report to training camp Tuesday.
ESPN’s Mike Wells and Adam Schefter contributed to this report.
Source : ESPN