NFL penalizes teams whose unvaccinated players cause outbreaks

USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones breaks down the NFL’s COVID-19 outbreak logs this season.


Washington All-Pro Guard Brandon Scherff and Offensive Tackle David Sharpe have both been placed in the COVID-19 reserve, bringing their team-wide total to six players who have tested positive for the coronavirus since training camp started earlier this week.

By the time they entered training camp, about 60% of Washington Football Team players had received a vaccine that was among the lowest in the NFL. Coach Ron Rivera, a cancer survivor and immunodeficiency worker, had told reporters he was frustrated that so many of his players were reluctant to receive the vaccine, despite the NFL’s urging and efforts to educate them about the benefits of the vaccine. Rivera has brought in medical experts to speak to their players to address their concerns about the vaccine.

Scherff and Sharpe join wide receiver Curtis Samuel, defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas and defensive back Chris Miller on the COVID reserve list.

Rivera said he hoped the players would change their stance and possibly get vaccinated as early as Sunday.

“We’ll see tomorrow. Tomorrow we hope to get some more boys vaccinated,” Rivera told reporters after her last training session at the training camp in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday afternoon. “We’ll see. It’s a difficult topic. I’ve tried bringing it up with a lot of our players, I’ve talked to a lot of our guys who haven’t. Again, it’s a personal matter, but hopefully – we can influence it.” . ” , hopeful. “

The NFL continues to urge more players to receive vaccines to avoid the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks and game stoppages this preseason and season.

The NFL released a memo on Friday stating that teams with a vaccination rate of 90% or better are allowed to have family members on the field after training camp practices. This is usually a time when players spending their training camp away from families and in team hotels can meet loved ones until the camp breaks later this summer. However, teams that have not reached the 90% vaccination rate must provide proof of vaccination from family members / roommates aged 12 and over in order to play with the players on the fields after training.