The Indianapolis Colts are dealing with some COVID-19 issues ahead of their game against the Cincinnati Bengals. On Friday, the team announced they had to close their practice facility due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests. The Colts are working remotely until they receive more information.
"This morning, we were informed that several individuals within our organization have tested positive for COVID-19," the Colts said in a statement. "The team is currently in the process of confirming those tests. In the meantime, the practice facility will be closed and the team will work remotely while following NFL protocols. We are in communication with the NFL and will have more information when available."
The outcome of the retests will determine if their game against the Bengals will be postponed. On Thursday, the Atlanta Falcons closed their facility after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus. They were cleared to return to the facility on Friday after having no additional positive tests. Teams will close the facility at the first sign of COVID-19 positive for precautionary reasons.
If the Colts were forced to postpone their game, it would mean Week 6 would be a bye for them. However, their actual bye week is Week 7 and the Bengals are set to play the Browns that week, making it tough to potentially reschedule the game. The NFL will have to make adjustments to the schedule in order for Colts and Bengals to play and finish the regular season on time. Another move the league could make is adding another week to the season and pushing the playoffs back.
"We lose that flexibility as you see as the weeks go on as we have to adjust, and that's what we have to avoid," NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said per CBS Sports. "As the season progresses we lose the byes. The 18-week window, the commissioner did reference that in his opening remarks, the focus is playing the 256 games in the 17-week window knowing that potentially if the season continues to progress and things happen, the 18th week potentially could be an option there for him."
The Colts currently have a 3-2 record and in second place in the AFC South. This past Sunday, the team lost the Cleveland Browns and quarterback Philip Rivers struggled, throwing two interceptions in the loss. Rivers signed with the Colts this past offseason after spending 16 years with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers.