The NFL season hasn’t started, but football analysts are already measuring statistics.
Even though the league can’t strictly impose a vaccine mandate for players, it has made a very clear stance on the importance of vaccines for the development of the 2021 season. If a team, during regular season or playoffs, has a COVID-19 breakthrough among unvaccinated players, it will be forced to forfeit regular-season games, with both teams’ players receiving no compensation.
Former NFL Player and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin heavily criticized players who hadn’t gotten the vaccine, and encouraged his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, to boost up vaccination rates.
Amidst these new regulations, vaccination rates among players started to quickly increase. As it was reported recently by NFL Insider Tom Pelissero, 90% of players have received at least 1 shot of the vaccine.
Some of the athletes weren’t very happy with the decision taken by the league but eventually decided to get the vaccine in order to help their team and avoid potential penalizations. Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said this week that he wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine if it weren’t for the protocols imposed.
“I love this game, I love this team, I want to be able to compete and do the things that are important to build chemistry and win football games. Ultimately, that forced my hand into getting the vaccine.”
There is still a lot of work to do to get players ready for the new season, but as plenty of vaccine shots are getting into players, there is hope that the new season may end up happening without a lot of complications.