The NFL is not messing around when it comes to COVID-19. On Thursday, the league had an important memo to share with all 32 teams about this upcoming season.
“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 Network insider Tom Pelissero wrote on Twitter.
Once again, the NFL is showing that vaccinated players will have a much easier time navigating through the 2021 schedule.
Some people believe teams with low vaccination rates will see this new rule as a potential wake-up call. After all, teams don’t want to forfeit games.
“This is super duper important for all teams and perhaps especially for those struggling with player vaccinations,” Ben Standig of The Athletic wrote. “Washington at less than 50% as of a few days ago per the AP.”
This is super duper important for all teams and perhaps especially for those struggling with player vaccinations. Washington at less than 50% as of a few days ago per the AP. https://t.co/VAXAlklhqI
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) July 22, 2021
There are others who want to see additional professional sports leagues enforce this rule.
“Great move,” Molly Knight tweeted. “MLB should follow suit ASAP.”
Great move. MLB should follow suit ASAP. https://t.co/97rSCwVLVS
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) July 22, 2021
With training camp about to begin for every team, it’s fair to wonder if general managers will make roster decisions based on a player’s vaccination status.
“Don’t be shocked when unvaccinated players get cut if it’s even close on making a call between them and vaccinated players. It’s not personal, it’s business,” Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal said.
Don’t be shocked when unvaccinated players get cut if it’s even close on making a call between them and vaccinated players. It’s not personal, it’s business. https://t.co/eGceGSZ2DS
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) July 22, 2021
Last year, the NFL had to rearrange its schedule several times because of COVID-19. This new rule in place is designed to make sure the league doesn’t have to go through that again.
Time will tell if this rule sparks an increase in vaccinations for some NFL teams.