NFL: COVID Breakouts Could Lead to Forfeits

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley
Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

The NFL has sent a memo to all 32 teams stating that if a game cannot be rescheduled during 2021's 18-week schedule due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and be credited with a loss. Players on both teams will not be paid for the lost contest, and the team responsible for the cancelled game due to unvaccinated players will cover financial losses and be subject to potential discipline from the Commissioner's office.

The memo draws a clear line between an outbreak among vaccinated players and one among those who have not had their shot, stating: "If a game is cancelled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a COVID spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the COVID infection. We will seek to minimize the burden on the opposing club or clubs. 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."

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33 comments, Last at 29 Jul 2021, 11:36pm

5 Of course.

As they should too.

Unfortunately now Jalen Ramsey and Deandre Hopkins are coming out to essentially support lil ol Beasley and his annoying rhetoric (although it'll make it that much funnier when he's traded with a 4th for the younger Brandin Cooks, back to his home state and rots in Houstons mess). 

3 That information isn't…

That information isn't public yet, though I expect with training camps, things will begin to filter out.

As of six days ago, 13 teams were above the 85% fully-vaccinated threshold which allows the club to do more things in camp.  That was up from seven the week before.  73.8% of players had received at least their first shot.

Two teams were below a 50% vaccination rate at the time.



EDIT: Whoop, more up to date information.  We're now up to 14 teams above 85%, and all teams above 50%, with over 78% of players with at least one shot.

15 It's not all politics. The…

It's not all politics. The league's like 4.5x more African American than the US general population, and the African American community's got totally valid historical reasons to be skeptical of treatments being pushed on them. I'm not saying they shouldn't get it (they should)... but I absolutely understand why it's a harder push.

31 not a good parallel

The resistance to the COVID vaccines is coming from the political right, not from the black community, and it has nothing to do with the legacy of Tuskegee or other past abuses.

I'm not going to stop talking about public health just because some people have decided to adopt anti-science for political reasons.  People are getting sick and dying for bad reasons.  If politicians want to wade into the field of science and espouse bad theories, I will take them to task for that.  And they are the ones "politicizing" it, not I. I see no good reason to defer to people wandering well outside their area of expertise into mine. 

10 Interesting tactic

I'm not very surprised at the NFL coming out with a very strong stance against the antivaxxers.  What I do find quite interesting is the idea that if a game is forfeited because of a Covid outbreak caused by an unvaxxed team, BOTH teams lose their game checks.  I think its a very shrewd (though highly dirty) move by the NFL to get the players fighting amongst themselves.  Instead of fighting with the NFL to say "I want my game check", instead I fight with my peers to say "I don't want to lose my game check because of you". 

I'm not sure how to feel when I'm generally pro-labor, but I'm also very excited to watch some very vocal antivaxxers take a very public loss.  

16 Now this crosses into the no…

Now this crosses into the no-politics part, but there is a big difference between the wacko anti-vaccine stance and skepticism in the African American community. One stems from a snake-oil salesman and the other stems from a long history of mistreatment by the medical community. It's not exactly fair to lump them together into "anti-vaxxers."

12 LOL

What happens if it is due to a vaccinated player, as just happened with the Yankees?  And how are they are going to tell the difference?

17 I'm not up on what happened…

In reply to by Raiderfan

I'm not up on what happened with the Yankees, but...

 "If a game is cancelled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a COVID spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the COVID infection.

13 I can see the covid-case…

I can see the covid-case team causing a forfeit losing a week's pay, but why punish the other team as well?

32 Cancer survivor Riverboat…

Cancer survivor Riverboat Ron appears to be willing to put up with Blackjack Del Rio's stance, while lamenting The Football Team's low rate.

Meanwhile the Seahawks have near-universal vaccination by both staff and players.

23 And now Dak

Not revealing his status due to HIPPA (not under HIPPA tho). Some other words indicate he is but, still disappointing to dodge such questions (again).

This off season is telling us a lot about players. SMH

25 Not HIPAA

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Nto HIPAA violation for reporter to ask D. Prescott if got vaccine

Prescott clearly did not get vaccine

If I was reporter, would define HIPAA law ro at least give exmaple of HIPAA violation at next press conference a d put Prescott on spot again. Then if he gave another lame answer, "Okay, so you did nto getvaccine.  Thank you."

27 TBF

In reply to by Raiderjoe

Dak defenders did (way too much) homework and it sounds like he got it but doesn't want to hurt his teammates feelings. Which is of course silly because saying yes instead (incorrectly) hiding being HIPAA, does a lot more good as a leader than hurting a few people on the teams feelings. 

28 Covid

So it’s very easy to fire a not very important coach, but say someone like Josh Mcdaniels refuses.  Will BB have the guts to let him go?  What if a star player on a team refuses?  Say pat mahomes acts like Beasley.  It’s very easy to cut Beasley but will the same rule apply to Mahomes? Obviously not.  

29 It's the same thing with…

In reply to by amin purshottam

It's the same thing with legal trouble or other misconduct.   The undrafted rookie gets cut instantly, while the 1st round pick gets tons of rope.  Same rules apply in real life.  Your invaluable/difficult to replace employees have different rules than your easily replaced employees.  Perhaps not fair, but that's what it is. 

It's like when Jimmy Johnson cut some backup linebacker from the Cowboys for falling asleep during a film session.  When reporters asked him, "What would you do if Troy Aikman fell asleep during a film session?".  Johnson's response was, "I'd go over and whisper, 'Wake up, Troy' ".

30 This is an example that…

This is an example that really shows you can't legislate equality, despite all of the best will in the world. Not even the Bolsheviks could do it, despite trying their hardest and leaving no measure off the table. 

33 Potential mini-outbreak…

Potential mini-outbreak coming up on The Unvaccinated Football Team. 

I wonder (strictly wonder, not drawing any conclusions about anything) if Matt Ioannidis is related to Dr. John Ioannidis, a Stanford researcher and one of the leading COVID skeptics? Google says nothing either way.

Curtis Samuel is the other positive.