With the US currently going through another wave of skyrocketing COVID cases and hospital systems being pushed to their limit, the importance of vaccinations has become painfully evident. The NFL has made it incredibly clear to coaches and players that not getting vaccinated could have dire consequences for the team. The possibility of not getting paid and being forced to miss games is certainly motivated by the league not wanting to repeat what happened in 2020.
That’s why the news that the Falcons have all of their players vaccinated matters, without even taking the obvious health implications into consideration.
Per NFL league sources, Falcons are first and only team in NFL to have 100% vaccination rate among players.— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) August 16, 2021
Every. Single. Player. Vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/QjH8QNUZo8
Now, rosters can change dramatically between now and the regular season, so this status could change before Week 1’s game is played. However, it’s a strong sign that the internal leadership in the Falcons organization is making this a priority, as it should. The health of the players, the coaches and their families is on the line. Seeing the Falcons lead the league in this endeavor is incredibly encouraging.
As long as the Falcons maintain this status, the team will not be subject to the automatic forfeiture of games according to the revised rules for the 2021 season. Hopefully, this rule will only be a discussion point and not something that will actually be used, but that decision remains with the individual players and coaches.
If you have questions about COVID-19 and/or the vaccines available to you, please contact your health professional to discuss it with them.