With less than a week before the NFL kicks off its season, the league's COVID-19 vaccination rate among players sits at 93%, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports.
The updated number reflect rates after Tuesday's deadline to cut rosters to 53 players and 16-man practice squads. The number represents no effective change from the pre-deadline rate of 93% reported on Aug. 26.
While Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer admitted that vaccination status played a role in roster decisions amid assumptions that the increased availability afforded by vaccines would do so league-wide, it appears that any such decisions didn't move the needle on the overall vaccination rate.
2 teams at 100%
Friday's report arrives a day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the second team to announce a 100% vaccination rate among players. The Atlanta Falcons were the first to do so on Aug. 16.
The Indianapolis Colts were among the league's laggards at 75% earlier this week, according to the Indianapolis Star. The Colts placed four starters in COVID-19 protocols this week, including quarterback Carson Wentz, whose placement in a five-day quarantine as a close contact indicated that he was not vaccinated. All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard told reporters on Thursday that he's not vaccinated.
Declining a COVID-19 vaccine opens the door to significant football consequences in the NFL in addition to the inherent public and personal health risks. Teams with outbreaks among unvaccinated players that prompt a game cancelation will forfeit that game. Players from both teams would forfeit their checks for the canceled game.