Tom Pelissero

Tom Pelissero


Reporter, @NFLNetwork and https://t.co/r2IXpGUBaj. Contributor, @SiriusXMNFL. Husband, @SaraPelissero. Dad, the best girls ever.

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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.

Other key competitive aspect of today's memo: Vaccinated individuals who test positive and are asymptomatic can return to duty after two negative tests 24 hours apart. Unvaccinated individuals still subject to mandatory 10-day isolation period.

More strong language from today's NFL memo: "Every club is obligated under the Constitution and Bylaws to have its team ready to play at the scheduled time and place. A failure to do so is deemed conduct detrimental. There is no right to postpone a game."

As for the justification for continuing to increase benefits for vaccinated individuals, the NFL cites CDC data and major hospital systems:

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So to recap, if an outbreak of unvaccinated NFL players causes a game to be canceled:   - Infected team forfeits, takes a loss for playoff seeding, faces financial penalties and possible additional sanctions if protocols violated   - Players on both teams don't get paid More👇👇

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.

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The #Seahawks  cut rookie CB Kemah Siverand this week after he was caught on video trying to sneak a female visitor into the team hotel, per sources. Clear message on the responsibility everyone has in the NFL’s COVID-19 world: Put the team at risk, suffer the consequences.

The #Panthers  are trading QB Teddy Bridgewater to the #Broncos  for a sixth-round draft pick, per source.

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.

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