Due to some key injuries, the Indianapolis Colts struggled in their most recent game against the Cleveland Browns, ultimately falling to 3-2 on the season. Now, they just received some more brutal news, this time about COVID-19, as the team announced on Friday that it is closing its facilities.
So, what’s the status for the Colts’ Week 6 game against the Cincinnati Bengals?
The Indianapolis Colts shut down their facilities
On the morning of Oct. 16, 2020, the Indianapolis Colts announced that the team is shutting down its facilities while it works to confirm several positive tests.
“This morning, we were informed that several individuals within our organization have tested [positive] for COVID-19. The team is currently in the process of confirming those tests,” the team said in part of its statement. “We are in communication with the NFL and will have more information when available.”
Indianapolis has been rather lucky this year in terms of COVID-19. According to USA Today, this is the first time members of the team have tested positive so far this season.
However, Indy’s Sunday game against the Cincinnati Bengals is now in jeopardy.
What is the status of the Colts’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals?
The Colts are supposed to play the Bengals on Sunday. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that she senses that “the Colts are being very measured and conservative by closing their facility today.” She also reported that the game between the Colts and Bengals is still on as of right now.
The option to postpone the game between the two squads could certainly be an easy one for the league, though. The Colts have a scheduled bye next week, and the two teams are only 90 minutes apart.
Additionally, Jay Morrison of The Athletic reported that the league could easily postpone the game one week to Oct. 25. It could do this by just moving the Bengals’ Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns to Week 9, which is when both the Bengals and Browns have their bye weeks.
So, while the Colts-Bengals game appears to still be a go as of now, the NFL could potentially have its most effortless schedule change this season, if needed.
The NFL has rescheduled several games so far this season
The NFL has already rescheduled several games this year due to COVID-19, as it tries to put on a season during a pandemic.
The Tennessee Titans had more than 20 members of its organization test positive for COVID-19. This led to their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers getting rescheduled to Week 7. Their Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills also got played on an unprecedented Tuesday night.
The New England Patriots have also had multiple issues with COVID-19. New England saw its star quarterback, Cam Newton, and star cornerback Stephon Gilmore test positive for COVID-19. Their Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos ended up getting postponed to Week 6.
Newton and Gilmore have since returned to practice with the Patriots. According to The Boston Globe, they are both also on track to play against the Broncos. Newton appears to be acting just fine too.
“He kind of brings that mood back, that fun kind of mood out there, so it’s been good,” Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry said, according to The Boston Globe.
The Patriots have certainly had to deal with adversity because of COVID-19, but it could have been much, much worse for them.
As for the NFL, COVID-19 has certainly kept it on its toes. The league must be ready to reschedule a game at any moment. It’ll be interesting to see if it will have to reschedule yet another game this week once things for the Indianapolis Colts become more clear.
UPDATE: After publication of this story, Zak Keefer of The Athletic reported that “four members of [the] Colts’ organization had initial positive tests.” Since retesting, though, all of them were negative. The Colts will re-open their practice facility on Friday afternoon, and their game against the Bengals is still on.