Well, it looks like Rick Dennison won’t be the only assistant coach who’ll sit out of the upcoming NFL season because of the league’s rules regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. New England Patriots co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich won’t be with the team this year because of a decision related to the COVID-19 vaccine guidelines.
Popovich has been with the Patriots since 2016. He joined the franchise in a minor assistant role before working his way up to assistant running backs coach in 2019 and co-offensive line coach in 2020.
Carmen Bricillo is expected to be the full-time offensive line coach for New England this upcoming season.
Patriots co-OL coach Cole Popovich won’t be with the team in 2021 in a decision related to the COVID-19 vaccine and NFL guidelines, per league sources. @globejimmcbride 1st reported Popovich won’t be with the team.
Carmen Bricillo, co-OL coach in ‘20, takes on leading role.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 23, 2021
ESPN insider Adam Schefter hinted that other assistant coaches could potentially opt out of the 2021 season because of the new guidelines.
Dr. Allen Sills recently said on a conference call that nearly 100 percent of coaches and staff members in the NFL are vaccinated. That’s important because the NFL mandated that all “Tier 1 staff” get vaccinated.
If coaches are unvaccinated for the 2021 season, they can’t be on the field, or have meetings or “direct interactions” with their players. And if coaches aren’t able to have face-to-face interactions with their players, that makes their job even more challenging than it already is.