Just like the rest of the country, the NFL is relaxing restrictions on people who are fully vaccinated. New protocols were announced on Wednesday in a joint statement from the NFL and NFLPA, the union representing NFL players.
Good news: The NFL may create relaxed COVID-19 standards for teams that have 85 percent of its players vaccinated. Bad news: The NFL may create relaxed COVID-19 standards for teams that have 85 percent of its players vaccinated.
NFL considers extra incentives for teams that get to an 85-percent vaccination threshold. But that could tempt some teams to cut players who aren’t vaccinated, which technically isn’t allowed.
Unfortunately for the Bills, they haven’t met that threshold. And Bills coach Sean McDermott said today that “I’m concerned about that.” On Tuesday, McDermott said it was his goal to “educate” and not “convince” players to get vaccinated. Perhaps the changes implemented by the union and league will expedite that education process.
Meanwhile, quarterback Josh Allen won’t disclose whether or not he has gotten the shot: https://t.co/VmNrXFAFBE
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) May 25, 2021
As for the football training aspect, players who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks inside the club facility, they can eat in the cafeteria, use the sauna/steam rooms with other players, and be in the weight room without capacity restrictions. They won’t be required to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19-positive individuals, either, which is a significant advantage after watching what happened around the NFL last year.
Non-vaccinated players will still need to physically distance, wear masks, quarantine after exposure, abide by travel restrictions, eat in large open spaces, and observe all the restrictions that were added a year ago.
General Manager Brandon Beane has indicated that he might cut an unvaccinated player and replace him with a vaccinated player if it helped the Bills get back to normal. Beane’s comments drew harsh criticism from the NFL Players Association. But just because NFL teams aren’t allowed to cut players for refusing to get vaccinated, that doesn’t mean that teams won’t do it — it just means teams won’t admit it.
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) May 9, 2021
Back in April, Allen was still debating on if getting a vaccination is the right thing for him. While he is young and very much in his athletic prime, this is a virus that has taken the lives of over 500 million people in the United States of America since the global pandemic started. Though Allen says he will look at the data and use logic to make the best decision for himself, he is also a franchise quarterback.
Since then, we haven’t heard from Allen, until Tuesday. Clearing it up, Allen has now returned a bit to the safer side he’s used to taking. Allen said “we’re letting everyone make their own decisions” regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.
Additionally, the QB mentioned: “What the right answer is, we’re not sure.”
Bills QB Josh Allen: “I know vaccines are going to be a hot topic. We’re having conversations as a team. I’m going to keep those conversations, my choices, and those of my teammates in-house.”
— Sal Capaccio 🏈 (@SalSports) May 25, 2021
Beasley, meanwhile, continued his tweet spree by asking, “If you get vaccinated you are good? So if I don’t I shouldn’t pass it on to you regardless, right?”
He followed up with, “That’s a serious question. I don’t really know how these things work I’m not a doctor.”
“I don’t have a problem with anybody getting the vaccine. That is YOUR choice. My problem is everyone is ridiculing and bullying people on here into getting one or thinking the same way about it. It’s becoming that way with any issue. This is not ok.”
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) May 14, 2021
In mid-April, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced that fans attending Bills games for the 2021 season are required to be vaccinated. He also noted he has spoken with Bills officials about the county’s new policy.
For the rest of the off-season like in everyone’s day and life right now, the main conversation will continue to be on the COVID vaccine. This is just a snapshot of a couple of the higher-profile players on the Bills. Like you and me, everyone may have different opinions on what they will do.
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