Several teams have had very public struggles when it comes to getting vaccinated, including most notably the Bills and the Vikings. The Colts are also dealing with vaccination hesitation, too. G.M. Chris Ballard addressed the issue with reporters on Thursday.
“There’s consequences to not being vaccinated,” Ballard said, via Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “Do I think everybody should be vaccinated? Absolutely. I’m for the vaccine. [Coach] Frank [Reich] is for the vaccine. We have a lot of guys on our team who are for the vaccine. Is it 100 percent perfect? No. But it’s a good thing. . . .
“It can help you from ending up in the hospital in a critical situation. And it helps stop some of the spread, and those are positive things. But for the guys who have chosen to not get vaccinated, they still understand they’re still part of this team, it’s their decision, but they’re still part of our team and they have to take care of the team.”
Ballard is choosing to be as optimistic as possible, given the circumstances.
“Look, I can beat my head against the wall,” he said. “I can go in there and raise all kinds of hell and go off. That’s not how we roll. I believe in our guys. I believe in what they stand for and I’ll stand by them. We’ll continue to work on the vaccinations. It’s not like we’re done educating. . . . But they understand they have to take care of the protocols at hand and they have to live by them. And we’ll do that at the best of the ability we can do it.”
The Colts recently had multiple players get knocked out for five days as close contacts with infected persons. That only happens with players who aren’t vaccinated. One such player is quarterback Carson Wentz.