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Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ star Leonard Fournette says he is learning, mulling vaccine

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland (21) in the second half during Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland (21) in the second half during Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In a since-deleted tweet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette said Thursday that he didn’t want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Vaccine I can’t do it…..,” he wrote.

On Sunday, after the first practice of training camp, he said he is still learning about the vaccine and mulling it over.

The Buccaneers, who begin the defense of their Super Bowl championship on Sept. 9 against Dallas, are bringing in doctors to answer players’ questions.

“I’m going to talk to them, and just see what’s the best decision, for myself and for the team,” Fournette said.

Vaccinated players and staff members won’t be subject to wearing a mask at team facilities or while traveling, won’t have physical distancing rules and are allowed to visit with friends and family during travel. They won’t be subject to daily COVID-19 testing, either.

Players who violate the COVID-19 protocols could be subject to a fine of $14,650 per infraction.

Fournette said he was willing to live by the regulations if chooses not to be vaccinated but will listen to the information.

“I just don’t know too much about it,” Fournette said after the team’s first training camp practice.

The fourth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fournette was a key contributor for the Buccaneers in their playoff run in 2020.

Fournette, 26, totaled four touchdowns in four postseason games, including one in Tampa Bay’s 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. He had a franchise-best 448 scrimmage yards in the playoffs and led the team in rushing yards (300), rushing touchdowns (three), scrimmage touchdowns (four) and receptions (18).

He signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Buccaneers on Sept. 2, 2020, just days after he was waived by the Jaguars. He had a career-worst regular season in 2020, finishing with just 600 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 13 games before his sterling playoff run.

–Field Level Media