“Everyone was considered. [Vaccination status] was part of the the production, ‘Let’s start talking about this, and also is he vaccinated or not?’ Can I say that that was a decision maker? It was certainly in consideration,” Meyer said.
With the strict rules and regulations for unvaccinated players heading into the 2021 season, it seems completely reasonable for coaches to take vaccination status into account.
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. A break of any of these rules will result in a $15,000 fine.
This added headache could easily be the deciding factor in whether or not a player makes the final roster.
But, one group has apparently taken opposition to this idea. These comments have led to an open investigation from the NFL Players Association into Meyer and the Jags organization.
Fans and analyst from around the league took to Twitter to react to this situation. Many came to the defense of Meyer, who seemingly took a common-sense approach to final cuts ahead of the 2021 season.
Was there anything wrong with what Urban Meyer said Andrew? He said that vaccination status was “a factor” in decisions. When these rules were instituted did anybody in their right mind think vaccination status would not be considered at all? https://t.co/GwSNnQwhv8
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) September 1, 2021
Something confusing to me:
Urban Meyer was given the derisive nickname “Urban Liar” while he was at UF.
He’s asked a question yesterday and tells the truth.
Now people (and members of the media) rip him for that and say he should have lied.
Makes perfect sense.
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) September 1, 2021
There are a lot of things that Urban Meyer has done that I don’t agree with, but he was honest and he’s getting ripped for it. We hate when coaches give us coach-speak and babble-crap, but a guy is honest and he gets ripped?
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) September 1, 2021
This, for example, is a far more irresponsible and inaccurate comment than what Urban Meyer said. The rate of positive tests among unvaccinated NFL personnel is 7 times higher than the rate of positive tests among vaccinated personnel. https://t.co/WNwglmQwXh
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) September 1, 2021
The only thing Urban Meyer has said or done all offseason that made sense to me is being walked back by the Jags https://t.co/cpl9LfK5IP
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) September 1, 2021
The Jaguars released a statement in regards to these comments earlier this morning:
“Availability is one of many factors taken into account when making roster decisions. We have vaccinated and unvaccinated players on our roster, and no player was released because of their vaccination status. Ultimately, decisions are based on a player’s ability to help the Jaguars win. We educate our players and respect personal decisions as it pertains to the vaccine. We want to keep our players, staff and families safe as we comply with protocols related to both health and safety and competition on game days.”