Unity in the Tampa Bay locker room extends well past on-field play.
#Bucs HC Bruce Arians tells reporters that every single player, staff member, and coach is vaccinated. A big milestone with the season starting next week.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 2, 2021
Arians has long been a proponent of his players getting the vaccination. At the beginning of August, the third-year Bucs head coach revealed that his team would be 92% vaccinated by Aug. 13 and “close” to 100% before the team’s first game.
Now with exactly one week until their Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, Arians’ Tampa Bay squad has gone above and beyond that prediction.
With unvaccinated players serving as a potential liability, this is a huge step for the reigning Super Bowl champions as they embark on their title-defending run.
Unvaccinated players are forced to go through daily testing (five-day quarantine per missed test), wear masks at all times, social distance and quarantine after potential exposure. The quarantine period after potential exposure will be served in full regardless of testing status. A break of any of these rules will result in a $15,000 fine.
Fully vaccinated players will be tested once per week and will not be deemed as high-risk close contacts. As long as they continue to test negative after potential contact, they will remain eligible to play. This means that only unvaccinated players are at risk of missing games with a negative test.
This Tampa Bay team, who returned all 22 starters from last year’s Super Bowl win, is clearly dedicated to the cause in 2021.