The NFL is slowly progressing toward seeing players taking the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a report. Per MMQB NFL insider Albert Breer, half of the league’s teams have 51 players or more with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine already received:
Per sources, 16 of the NFL’s 32 teams have 51-or-more players either fully vaccinated or in the process of getting vaccinated. Those numbers aren’t bad, but I can say the league wants them to be a LOT better six weeks from now for the start of camp.
More in yesterday’s MAQB. ⤵️ https://t.co/mSXxmhSQTL
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) June 15, 2021
Whether or not players have received the COVID-19 has become a topic of interest because of the recent changes to safety protocol installed by the NFL regarding the virus. Last season, the league allowed players to opt out of playing if they so chose to do so. In addition, social distancing and other safety protocols were implemented at team facilities.
In May, the league announced that such protocols will be largely dropped for players who did receive the vaccination.
Per NFL Media:
Fully vaccinated players will no longer have to be tested daily, will not have to wear masks at team facilities, will not be subject to quarantine after exposure to a COVID-positive individual, will have no travel restrictions, may eat in the team cafeteria and use the sauna and steam room. They also will not be subject to capacity limits in the weight room and will be allowed to interact with vaccinated family and friends during travel.
The NFL’s current policy toward the vaccination does not require players to receive it, but there is an encouragement to do so. Some teams, such as the Washington Football Team, have taken big steps towards educating players to get vaccinated by bringing in medical experts to discuss the vaccine with players and team staff.
In addition, per NBC Sports’ Peter King, the NFL is considering implementing vaccine thresholds. If a team’s roster hits a certain number of players and staff vaccinated from COVID-19, safety protocols may be fully dropped and pre-pandemic structure in team facilities may be resumed if such a rule is passed down.
However, the NFL has not yet approved such a measure just yet.