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This is the NFL's strongest step yet to incentivize vaccinations. In essence, vaccination status dictates action: "If a club cannot play due to a Covid spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams."
The NFL just informed clubs that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will FORFEIT and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding, per sources. Massive implications.
Here’s more from today’s memo, which also says the team responsible for a canceled game because of an outbreak among unvaccinated players/staff will be responsible for financial losses and subject to potential discipline from the commissioner. Wow.
The league intends to play its entire 272-game schedule over 18 weeks (17 games per club). And this is key: "We do not anticipate adding a '19th week' to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season." Play on time or don't play.
As for the justification for continuing to increase benefits for vaccinated individuals, the NFL cites CDC data and major hospital systems:
Worth noting: The NFL and NFLPA also agreed in 2020 that players on both teams wouldn’t be paid for any canceled games. (All 256 were played.) But the bold type in today's memo that the NFL doesn't anticipate adding a Week 19 to make up games makes clear what's at stake in 2021.
The woman was wearing #Seahawks gear in an attempt to disguise her as a player, I’m told. It did not work.
#Patriots star CB Stephon Gilmore has tested positive for the coronavirus and the team isn't expected to practice today, per sources.
NFL clubs just received this email with reporting dates. Training camp is on.