The NFL has a new rule for 2021: get vaccinated or get bowed.
The NFL dealt with some COVID issues in 2020, with several games being rescheduled but none being canceled. This year, the league is looking to put a little more responsibility on players who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine by 2021.
The NFL announced Thursday that if a team faces a coronavirus outbreak due to unvaccinated players, and if the game cannot be rescheduled within the 18-week season, that team will lose the game and face more problems. will cause for both teams involved.
So to recap, if an outbreak of unvaccinated NFL players causes a game to be cancelled:
– Infected team loses, takes loss for playoff placement, faces financial penalties and possible additional penalties if protocols are violated
– Players from both teams are not paid
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 22, 2021
“We do not expect a ’19th week’ to be added for games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season,” the NFL said in the memo.
Also noteworthy is the fact that both teams – not just the team causing the outbreak – involved in the canceled match-up will lose game controls. The team gets a forfeit loss while the opposing team gets a win that counts towards the playoffs.
The new league mandates reinforce the league’s steadfast stance of wanting its players to be vaccinated by the 2021 season as the coronavirus (and now its Delta variant) continues to make its way through the nation’s population.
The NFL cites the CDC and vaccination data as evidence of the vaccine’s effectiveness nationwide, with hospitalizations and deaths among the vaccinated population dropping dramatically.
Vaccination Rates for NFL Teams
While vaccination rates for all 32 NFL teams are not made public, the Colts and Washington Football Team reportedly have two of the lowest rates in the league. with percentages below 50.
Washington defensive lineman Montez Sweat has been vocally opposed to the vaccine in recent months, despite the team enlisting vaccination experts to explain the vaccine’s benefits.
Teams that achieve a vaccination rate of 85 percent will be given more freedom in team facilities, among other things.