The NFL likely can’t mandate that players receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the 2021 season. Rather, it seems the NFL is choosing to incentivize players to get the vaccine and offering a multitude of information sessions.
In addition to player education, the NFL and NFLPA announced Friday that players who receive the vaccine will no longer need to be tested daily and if they are a high-risk contact, the type that cost the Buffalo Bills nearly their entire tight end room in 2020, they won’t have to quarantine.
For players on the edge of the NFL’s roster bubbles, an even bigger change is on the horizon. Players who are vaccinated won’t have to go through the long entry process after traveling from one team to another.
Vaccinated players will still need to be tested once per week, as the vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective at preventing infection.
NFL and NFLPA agree to modify Covid protocols for players who get vaccinated. No daily testing, no longer have to quarantine if identified as high-risk, close contact, and don’t have to submit to lengthy entry testing following travel. pic.twitter.com/aCpJIiJTFm— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 23, 2021
Players who are vaccinated will still need to wear tracking devices and masks inside the facility. Additional physical distancing protocols will remain in place, as well.
NFL coaches must be vaccinated as well as all team personnel who come into contact with players, according to the league.