With the additions of All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff and reserve tackle David Sharpe on Saturday, the Washington Football Team now have six players on the COVID-19 reserve list.
After training camp practice earlier today, head coach Ron Rivera brought up an interesting point with his players: If this had happened the day before their Week 1 opener, Scherff and Sharpe would not only be forced to miss that contest, but Thursday’s Week 2 matchup as well.
“Those guys would not be eligible, so, to me, it brings the reality of what the rules are and I hope it helps,” Rivera said, per ESPN. “But these young men have to make their decisions.”
As of right now, Washington ranks second to last in team vaccination rate with just over 70% of players having at least one shot. The overall player percentage in the NFL is 89.4 — 22 teams are over 90% and nine have greater than 95% participation, per ESPN.
This lack of commitment is a sharp contrast to Washington’s efforts from last year that saw zero player’s from the 53-man roster placed on the COVID-19 list through the regular season.
Rivera, who’s immunocompromised following his battle with cancer last year, has expressed that he’s “beyond frustrated” with his team’s lack of vaccination efforts.
“I hope we can get to these guys, get them to understand really it’s not just for them, but it’s for the people around them,” Rivera said Tuesday, per Sports Illustrated. “And that’s the thing that I think hopefully will get their attention is it’s not just about them, but the folks around them. … It is everybody’s choice, everybody’s decision, but you just hope they all fall in line and understand what’s at stake. I’m truly frustrated, I’m beyond frustrated.”
Starting wide receiver Curtis Samuel and backup defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis are also currently on the COVID-19 reserve list.