As the NFL continues to ramp back up to normal this offseason, much of the recent conversation around the league has been about COVID-19 vaccines. Just last week, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera revealed that he plans to bring in a specialist to discuss the benefits of getting a shot.
Bill Belichick was asked if he plans to do the same in a conversation with reporters on Thursday. The New England Patriots head coach shared that he feels confident in his team’s plan to stay safe and follow league policy.
Belichick also expressed his belief that his players are as informed as possible and “have the opportunity to be informed.” He makes a strong point, given the access that NFL personnel are given to medical information.
Here’s a look at Belichick’s full answer to the question about vaccines, per Pats Pulpit:
“First of all, we’ll comply with whatever the NFL policies and rules are as it relates to all that. So, that’s all out of our hands, out of my hands. Every team will deal with that. I don’t think there are teams that have done any more that we have in this area. I feel like our players are informed and have the opportunity to be informed. I’m pretty comfortable with what the organization, Mr. Kraft and our training/medical staff, what we’ve done for everybody here.”
“There’s always new information, there’s always updates. Situations change, sometimes expectedly, sometimes unexpectedly. We’ll always keep everyone informed and make decisions that are best for individuals and for the football team. Whether that would be a specific situation or any others that would be similar to it, that’s how we’ve always done it. I can’t imagine that would ever change.”
“I feel like we’re on top of it, we’re in front of it and we’ll be compliant with whatever rules or guidelines we’re given by the league and, to some degree, the state. But when those two don’t align perfectly, we’re bound by league guidelines.”
The commissioner’s office has done it’s best to incentivize players and coaches to get a vaccine by allowing those who get a shot to no longer be subject to the league’s COVID-19 restrictions. Once teams collectively hit a 75 percent vaccination rate, organizations will be able to operate as normal.
With stadiums expected to be at full capacity later this fall, hopefully NFL players and coaches can continue to educate themselves over the summer about the COVID-19 vaccines.