A photo of the Indianapolis Colts helmet
(PHOTO: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Indianapolis Colts Players Discuss Their Team’s Low COVID Vaccination Rate

INDIANAPOLIS–The Indianapolis Colts have a 60% coronavirus vaccination rate, which is 31st in the NFL (second-worst).

On Tuesday at training camp, some Colts players shared their thoughts on getting vaccinated. Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner contracted coronavirus last year and he said that played a factor in his decision to get vaccinated.

“Last season when I got it, I was asymptomatic. If I never played football and I was just home, seeing my grandparents, I could have given it to them. Not knowing I had it, I could have passed it along to them. I would have felt terrible. Know what I mean? Passing it along to other people and not knowing. That was the main reason I got vaccinated,” said Buckner.

Colts wide receiver Paris Campbell is halfway vaccinated.

“I think it’s a personal decision just across the league and our team, but I respect everybody’s personal decision,” said Campbell.

Another one of the Colts wide receivers T.Y. Hilton says it’s the type of challenge the Colts are already used to.

“We dealt with it last year. We did a great job, so we’ll be good. Vaccinated or unvaccinated, we all get treated the same, so we’ll be good,” said Hilton.

Colts running back Nyheim Hines calls this one of the most touchy subjects he’s ever seen in the sports world regarding policies that players have to follow.

“I’m fully vaccinated, but I can understand both sides of it. It’s a tough thing to navigate. There have been some tough conversations. For people who don’t want to get vaccinated, they have health reasons or other reasons. From general manager to head coach on down with the Colts, they’re not scolding us. They’re just going to support us,” said Hines in an interview with JMV on 93.5 and 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis.

COVID-19 vaccines are not required, but players who haven’t gotten a vaccine must get tested daily and wear masks. They’re also not allowed to eat meals with teammates, and can’t leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team. Players who are vaccinated don’t have those restrictions.

On Wednesday, the Colts placed three players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and cornerbacks T.J. Carrie and Xavier Rhodes have been placed on that list. The list is for players who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

The Colts begin the preseason on August 15 against the Carolina Panthers. The regular season starts on September 12 when the Colts host the Seattle Seahawks.

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