Matt Slocum / Associated Press
The Indianapolis Colts announced Friday that their team facilities will be closed while the team works to confirm several positive COVID-1
The team announced a statement about the tests ahead of Sunday’s scheduled Week 6 home game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium:
Indianapolis Colts @Colts
ESPNs Dianna Russini reported that the game is currently poised to move forward with Indianapolis taking a “highly measured and conservative” approach while awaiting more information.
If the game is eventually postponed, it will likely move back a week, while only affecting one other team (Cleveland Browns) per game. Jay Morrison from The Athletic:
Jay Morrison @JayMorrisonATH
Still a long way to go before any decision is made, but if the #Bengals Colts game can not be played on Sunday, it does not need to plan gymnastics to correct. They could postpone the game one week to October 25 and move the Cin-Cle game to November 25 until November 8, which is both teams’ city week.
Indianapolis played Cleveland last week and suffered a 32-23 loss along the way.
The Browns have not announced any new positive COVID-19 test results this week, but wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was sent home from practice with one unknown disease. Head coach Kevin Stefanski said it was the result of an “abundance of caution”, not a positive test.
After being uninterrupted for the first three weeks, the NFL’s schedule has been affected by the late coronavirus. The Tennessee Titans returned to action Tuesday night after a two-week hiatus due to the league’s first widespread coronavirus outbreak among a single team.
The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots also dealt smaller clusters of positive tests over the past few weeks, with their Week 4 games delayed by one day. Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore, the two most prominent tits landing on the reserve / COVID-19 list, both have cleared protocol and returned to practice this week.
Although the league has so far managed to maintain its typical regular season schedule for 17 weeks, it will be more difficult to rework it into postponed games when bye weeks are no longer available.
The Colts’ bye is currently set for week 7, so it would be pretty straightforward to move the Bengals game. It is also possible that the game may be delayed by a day or two.