As we waffle from being past the COVID-19 pandemic to being pulled back into it, the NFL faces a similar issue with training camp approaching.
Despite announcing stipulations that will make life much harder for unvaccinated players and staff members during the 2021 season, two NFL teams, the Washington Football Team and Indianapolis Colts, have rosters where more than 50 percent of the players remain unvaccinated, according to the Associated Press.
On the other side of the coin, 13 teams have exceeded the 85 percent vaccination threshold, which would essentially allow teams to operate and travel normally. Pittsburgh, Miami, Carolina and Denver have the highest vaccination rates.
Teams that do not meet or exceed the 85 percent vaccination rate and players on any team who remain unvaccinated into the season will face significant restrictions. According to ESPN:
Unvaccinated players must continue to get daily testing, wear masks and practice physical distancing. They won’t be allowed to eat meals with teammates, can’t participate in media or marketing activities while traveling, aren’t permitted to use the sauna or steam room, and may not leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team while traveling. Vaccinated players will not have any of those restrictions.
Training camp will being next week for most NFL teams, with the preseason beginning in August.