The stakes are very high for NFL players this year, when it comes to COVID-19 this year. Unlike last season, the league will not reschedule games due to outbreaks. In light of that news, it sounds like Stefon Diggs has a message for his fellow players.
“The NFL just informed clubs that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will FORFEIT and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding, per sources,” NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported. The NFL has not mandated for players to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines, but the incentives—and risks—continue to mount.
The news drops after some positive developments in the NFL. 14 teams have reportedly hit the 85-percent vaccination threshold necessary for them to waive certain COVID-19 protocols. Across the league, over 78-percent of players have received at least one shot.
The Buffalo Bills have been at the center of some of the vaccine-based controversies in the league. No NFL player has been as publicly anti-vaccine as Cole Beasley, and quarterback Josh Allen has expressed serious vaccine hesitancy. At the same time, general manager Brandon Beane came under fire for admitting he might consider vaccine status when it came to cutting players ahead of the season. All of that info makes it hard to take Stefon Diggs’ tweet as anything other than a pro-vax message to his fellow players.
accountability … availability
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) July 22, 2021
Diggs’ message is simple, but he seems to be echoing Michael Irvin and others: if you want to win a championship, you have to be able to play every week, and the vaccines are the best way to ensure that.
“Dude, you’re not thinking right,” Irvin said, after news that the Dallas Cowboys had not yet hit the vaccine threshold. “Nothing else can be more important…And not being one of the [85 percent vaccinated teams] says there’s other things to a great number of people on this team that are more important than winning championships, and that makes me worried.”
The Buffalo Bills should be right in that conversation this year, after a breakout season in 2020. The team was 13-3 last season, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.