The NFL has hinted that its players may be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a memo shared on Twitter by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league has mandated that a game cannot be rescheduled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players — and that team will be forced to forfeit, resulting “in a loss for playoff seeding.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned the 32 teams Thursday in a memo that no games would be rescheduled under such circumstances. Instead, forfeits could happen.
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“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. Vaccinated players who test positive can return to the team immediately after two negative tests, while unvaccinated players will be required to isolate for 10 days, according to the memo.