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The NFL is now taking a huge step when it comes to attempting to have teams play 17 games during an 18-week schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you already know, the powers that be within the league’s office in New York City have been pushing for players and team personnel to get one of the three vaccines widely available to the American population.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and former Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin have been among the most outspoken critics of players who have opted to remain unvaccinated.
It now looks like the NFL is going to drastic measures to secure the full 2021 season. That includes forcing teams to forfeit games should a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 occur among the non-vaccinated. This is not a drill. It’s happening.
As NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero notes, this could have some massive implications when it comes to the 2021 season and competitive balance. The league is also not mining words.
“We do not anticipate adding a ’19th week’ to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season,” the NFL noted.
Right now, 14 teams have met the 85% vaccine threshold around the NFL. A total of 78% of players around the league have received at least one shot. As for said players, absolutely no one will get paid from either team should a forfeiture take place.
Either way, there’s still some organizations lagging behind others. Could this force players to rethink their approach with some already making it well-known they are against getting the vaccine? It’s certainly something to watch with NFL training camps getting going.