COVID outbreak among unvaccinated NFL players could cause team to forfeit


FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 file photo, NFL Logo is seen on the goal post padding before an NFL preseason football game between the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets at Ford Field in Detroit. The process of building the NFL schedule used to be a painstaking one with executives like Val Pinchbeck spending months slotting the games one by one on his board until there was a final product for the commissioner to approve. Making late tweaks or looking at alternative options with a big game moving from early to late in the season weren’t really possible for all the pieces of the complicated jigsaw puzzle to fit.(AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)

If an NFL team has a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the consequences could be drastic.

During the course of the 18-week season, NFL teams will have the ability to reschedule games if there is a COVID-related postponement.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, if that game cannot be rescheduled the team with the outbreak will forfeit the game and be credited with a loss.

This would affect teams whose outbreaks can be attributed to players who are unvaccinated.

As of July 16, thirteen teams have crossed the 85 percent vaccination threshold for player vaccinations. On the same date, two teams still remained below the 50 percent threshold. According to ESPN, those teams were Washington and Indianapolis.

In that same ESPN article, Pittsburgh, Miami, Carolina and Denver were said to have the highest vaccination rates.

Additionally, the NFL told teams that vaccinated players who come in contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 will not be subjected to quarantine.

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