Before you hit with me 1) ‘An article about Carson Wentz? He’s not here anymore! Move on already!’ and/or 2) ‘An article about COVID-19 vaccines? Stick to football!’ ... please realize the premise of this article is entirely relevant to the Philadelphia Eagles.
As you may have seen by now, Wentz declined to reveal whether he’s vaccinated on the first day of Indianapolis Colts training camp.
Colts QB Carson Wentz politely declines to say whether he is vaccinated. “It’s a Personal decision.” pic.twitter.com/RtoZZHVAMg— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) July 28, 2021
That Wentz wore a mask to his press conference is noteworthy. According to the NFL’s mandate, unvaccinated players MUST wear masks to in-person media availability.
Now, it’s possible Wentz is wearing a mask to be extra cautious. Vaccinated players can obviously choose to wear a mask to be extra cautious, especially in light of news about the Delta variant.
But if Wentz was vaccinated, it wouldn’t have been that hard to reveal as much. Jalen Hurts easily confirmed his status after Wednesday’s Eagles training camp practice.
So, in the event that Wentz didn’t yet receive the vaccine and doesn’t plan to get it, that’s a concerning development for the Eagles. Philadelphia is currently set to receive Indy’s 2022 second-round pick via the Wentz trade. That selection can be elevated to a first-round pick, however, if:
1) Wentz plays at least 75% of the Colts’ snaps
2) Wentz plays at least 70% of the Colts’ snaps AND the Colts make the playoffs
Therefore, any playing time that Wentz misses hurts the Eagles’ chances of receiving a better pick. And not just slightly better, but a 32-spot increase from Day 2 to Day 1.
At this time, it’s currently unclear how Wentz potentially missing snaps due to maybe being unvaccinated impacts the snap count formula. Is it calculated normally as if Wentz was missing time due to an injury? Or is there an adjustment?
Wentz isn’t necessarily the only Colts player the Eagles potentially have to worry about. Nicki Jhabvala recently reported that Indy has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the NFL at just 63%. Should the Colts experience an outbreak during the season (hopefully not) and find themselves unable to reschedule a game, it’s possible they could have to forfeit. And unlike a normal loss, such an outcome would not go towards improving the team’s draft positioning.
So, yeah, the Eagles should hope that Wentz and his teammates aren’t putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage that could negatively impact Philly’s future. The Eagles not getting the Colts’ 2022 first-round pick could theoretically impact whether they’re able to acquire a new franchise quarterback. Or another quality player to help build around Jalen Hurts.