The NFL hasn’t mandated vaccines for players, though it is doing all it can to incentivize them to take them, and making life pretty hard on those who don’t. Staff members aren’t in the same situation. The league has mandated that all Tier 1 employees, which include coaches and other staff, receive one of the vaccines. Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer discussed the situation with his team today, and said that he has gotten the vaccine.
During today’s press conference, Meyer said that the team is over 80-percent vaccinations. That means the roster is just a few players short of hitting the 85-percent threshold, at which they can lift some of the more onerous COVID-19-based protocols.
Meyer says that he consulted a doctor who he has a long relationship when doing a “deep dive” on the vaccine. Ultimately, he decided it was the right decision for him.
“I take the same approach with the players: Educate them,” Urban Meyer said, via John Oehser of Jaguars.com. “Ultimately, it’s their choice. But how do you make choices in life? You educate and give them the truth.”
4.Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer: “I didn’t get vaccinated because someone told me to. I got vaccinated because I did a deep dive and educated myself. A doctor I’ve known for a long time said, ‘Get vaccinated.’" … https://t.co/hja5ZOat2Y
— John Oehser (@JohnOehser) July 28, 2021
D.J. Chark, one of the few established players on the team, has also been vaccinated. He says that he hasn’t done much work convincing others, but did share how much easier life has been since he received it.
“One thing I can say about our locker room: Everybody is an adult. It’s your decision. I personally haven’t tried to convince anyone to get it. I just know it’s way easier throughout your day-to-day process having it.”
Overall, the league’s numbers have improved a lot since the start of training camp:
NFL players on the field. Time for football, but first — vaccine update: 86.9% of players are vaccinated overall (at least one shot). 18 teams have more than 90 percent of players vaccinated.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) July 28, 2021
A few teams, including the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Football Team, are dragging down the vaccination numbers for the rest of the league. Less than a week ago, those two franchises were below 50-percent, well below the NFL totals.