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The number of NFL players with at least one of the two COVID-19 vaccination injections has reached 80 percent with nine teams having 90 percent or more of their players in that category.

Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s medical director, said Friday that nearly all Tier 1 and Tier 2 team employees – those who deal directly with players – have been vaccinated. 

Five teams are at less than 70 percent of players who have either received one vaccination shot or both. He is optimistic the number of vaccinated players will continue to rise as training camps open.

The news comes after a league memo was sent out Thursday explaining that teams could forfeit games if COVID-19 outbreaks result in canceled games, while players could suffer lost paychecks due any cancelations. 

Several players have objected to the memo on social media, but presidential medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is applauding the move. 

‘The NFL is sending a very strong signal that it’s very important to get vaccinated,’ he told CBS. ‘If you want to play football and you want to do it in a way that you feel unrestricted and not worry about any penalties, you just get vaccinated, because they’re saying that if unvaccinated people get infected, there are going to be consequences.’

In this April 29, 2021, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, wearing a COVID-19 vaccinated sticker, speaks during the first round of the NFL football draft in Cleveland. The NFL has informed teams they could potentially forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players and players on both teams wouldn't get paid that week. Commissioner Goodell said Thursday in a memo sent to clubs that was obtained by DailyMail.com that the league doesn't anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that can't be rescheduled within the 18-week regular season

In this April 29, 2021, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, wearing a COVID-19 vaccinated sticker, speaks during the first round of the NFL football draft in Cleveland. The NFL has informed teams they could potentially forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players and players on both teams wouldn't get paid that week. Commissioner Goodell said Thursday in a memo sent to clubs that was obtained by DailyMail.com that the league doesn't anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that can't be rescheduled within the 18-week regular season

In this April 29, 2021, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, wearing a COVID-19 vaccinated sticker, speaks during the first round of the NFL football draft in Cleveland. The NFL has informed teams they could potentially forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players and players on both teams wouldn’t get paid that week. Commissioner Goodell said Thursday in a memo sent to clubs that was obtained by DailyMail.com that the league doesn’t anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that can’t be rescheduled within the 18-week regular season

While several players objected to the memo, presidential medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is applauding the move. 'The NFL is sending a very strong signal that it's very important to get vaccinated,' he told CBS . 'If you want to play football and you want to do it in a way that you feel unrestricted and not worry about any penalties, you just get vaccinated, because they're saying that if unvaccinated people get infected, there are going to be consequences'

While several players objected to the memo, presidential medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is applauding the move. 'The NFL is sending a very strong signal that it's very important to get vaccinated,' he told CBS . 'If you want to play football and you want to do it in a way that you feel unrestricted and not worry about any penalties, you just get vaccinated, because they're saying that if unvaccinated people get infected, there are going to be consequences'

While several players objected to the memo, presidential medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is applauding the move. ‘The NFL is sending a very strong signal that it’s very important to get vaccinated,’ he told CBS . ‘If you want to play football and you want to do it in a way that you feel unrestricted and not worry about any penalties, you just get vaccinated, because they’re saying that if unvaccinated people get infected, there are going to be consequences’

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned the 32 teams Thursday in that memo obtained by DailyMail.com that no games would be rescheduled in the event of an outbreak. Instead, infected teams could be forced to forfeit games. 

‘As we learned last year, we can play a full season if we maintain a firm commitment to adhering to our health and safety protocols and to making needed adjustments in response to changing conditions,’ Goodell said.

He added that the league does not anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that need to be moved because of coronavirus issues.

‘If a game can’t be rescheduled and is canceled due to a COVID outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc,’ Goodell added. 

For purposes of playoff seeding, the forfeiting team would be assessed a loss and the other team a win.

If there is a virus outbreak because of a ‘spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams,’ the memo said.

The NFL has not made vaccinations mandatory. The league and the NFL Players Association, however, are strongly urging team employees and players to do so.

Coaches, on the other hand, are required to get vaccinated in order to work with players. And on Friday, ESPN reported that Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison is leaving the team over his refusal to get vaccinated.   

Dr. Allen Sills (pictured), the league's medical director, said Friday that nearly all Tier 1 and Tier 2 team employees - those who deal directly with players - have been vaccinated. Five teams are at less than 70 percent of players who have either received one vaccination shot or both. He is optimistic the number of vaccinated players will continue to rise as training camps open

Dr. Allen Sills (pictured), the league's medical director, said Friday that nearly all Tier 1 and Tier 2 team employees - those who deal directly with players - have been vaccinated. Five teams are at less than 70 percent of players who have either received one vaccination shot or both. He is optimistic the number of vaccinated players will continue to rise as training camps open

Dr. Allen Sills (pictured), the league’s medical director, said Friday that nearly all Tier 1 and Tier 2 team employees – those who deal directly with players – have been vaccinated. Five teams are at less than 70 percent of players who have either received one vaccination shot or both. He is optimistic the number of vaccinated players will continue to rise as training camps open

The NFL has not made vaccinations mandatory. The league and the NFL Players Association, however, are strongly urging team employees and players to do so. Coaches, on the other hand, are required to get vaccinated in order to work with players. And on Friday, ESPN reported that Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison (pictured) is leaving the team over his refusal to get vaccinated

The NFL has not made vaccinations mandatory. The league and the NFL Players Association, however, are strongly urging team employees and players to do so. Coaches, on the other hand, are required to get vaccinated in order to work with players. And on Friday, ESPN reported that Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison (pictured) is leaving the team over his refusal to get vaccinated

The NFL has not made vaccinations mandatory. The league and the NFL Players Association, however, are strongly urging team employees and players to do so. Coaches, on the other hand, are required to get vaccinated in order to work with players. And on Friday, ESPN reported that Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Rick Dennison (pictured) is leaving the team over his refusal to get vaccinated

Several players have voiced frustration over the potential for forfeits.  

Arizona Cardinals receiver Deandre Hopkins objected to the decision in a since-deleted tweet: ‘Never thought I would say this, But being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @NFL.’  

About an hour after deleting the post, he explained his reasoning in another tweet: ‘My girlfriend’s brother in the military got the vaccine and had heart problems right after. When you stand for something they hate you!’

Later in the evening, he seemed to back off, tweeting: ‘Btw I got about 9 more years in me, y’all have a good day.’   

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who was stricken with the coronavirus last year, called getting the vaccine ‘a touchy subject,’ though he added he has been vaccinated.

‘You can’t really tell someone what to do with their body,’ Elliott said at Cowboys training camp. ‘I grew up in a family where we didn’t get vaccines so it’s kind of hard to tell someone who their whole life their mom and dad tell them not to get vaccines to go get vaccinated. So I mean I don’t know, it’s everyone’s body, you can’t tell them what to do.’

Los Angeles Chargers assistant special teams coach Mayur Chaudhari (left) wears a face mask while talking with receiver Josh Palmer (5) during rookie minicamp

Los Angeles Chargers assistant special teams coach Mayur Chaudhari (left) wears a face mask while talking with receiver Josh Palmer (5) during rookie minicamp

Los Angeles Chargers assistant special teams coach Mayur Chaudhari (left) wears a face mask while talking with receiver Josh Palmer (5) during rookie minicamp

Deandre Hopkins had posted that he was questioning his future in the League because of a new vaccination policy, but later deleted the tweet

Deandre Hopkins had posted that he was questioning his future in the League because of a new vaccination policy, but later deleted the tweet

Hopkins, who is set to be paid $19.5 million next season, explained his reasoning in a subsequent tweet: 'My girlfriend brother in the military got the vaccine and had heart problems right after. When you stand for something they hate you!'

Hopkins, who is set to be paid $19.5 million next season, explained his reasoning in a subsequent tweet: 'My girlfriend brother in the military got the vaccine and had heart problems right after. When you stand for something they hate you!'

Hopkins had posted that he was questioning his future in the League because of a new vaccination policy, but later deleted the tweet

In a since-deleted tweet, Deandre Hopkins complained about the new NFL policies

In a since-deleted tweet, Deandre Hopkins complained about the new NFL policies

In a since-deleted tweet, Deandre Hopkins complained about the new NFL policies 

 

As for potential forfeits, he added: ‘A check is only monetary, you can’t put a price on someone’s health or what they think will make them feel good or not make them feel good. Like I said, you’re kind of walking a tight line.’

Regardless of skepticism from some players, Sills said Friday that he remains encouraged.   

‘I think we are off to an excellent start,’ Sills said. ‘Those numbers are much higher than what we’re seeing in society as a whole. There has been a lot of movement in that area. As you see players coming to training camp, you will see more players beginning that process (of vaccination).’

Sills cited teams having strong advocates for vaccination among players and coaches, as well as the educational materials available.

‘I think that has influenced a lot of players,’ he said.

‘What matters is that individuals have the most accurate information. Let’s not get information from Instagram or Facebook posts. Let’s try to hear from the most reputable professionals. You don’t shout anyone into belief here – there have to be thoughtful conversations. What we can do is provide the facts and make sure the entirety of the medical facts are presented.’

 

Source: Daily Mail

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