The COVID-19 vaccine has been a hot topic across the NFL in the offseason. The league has strongly encouraged and promoted for its members, players, coaches and fans to get vaccinated.
Despite the NFL’s push, some teams are lagging behind others when it comes to vaccinating their players. According to Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press, certain NFL teams have less than fifty percent of their players vaccinated.
The Colts and Washington NFL teams have the lowest vaccination rates
The Washington Football Team and Indianapolis Colts are the two NFL teams with the lowest vaccination rates among their players. Both teams have less than half of their players vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
It had been previously reported that the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers were also under the 50% mark but they have since surpassed that figure.
13 NFL teams reach threshold
13 NFL teams have now met the NFL’s 85 percent threshold for vaccinated players.
While the league has not named teams that have an 85 percent vaccination rate, Maadi reported that the Steelers, Dolphins, Saints, Panthers and Broncos have crossed that threshold.
The NFL is expected to loosen restrictions on player gatherings for teams that have reached the 85 percent vaccination mark, although the exact rules have not been announced.
NFL COVID-19 rules
Last month, the NFL and the players’ union updated the league’s COVID-19 rules to loosen restrictions for fully vaccinated players and to encourage others to get the vaccine.
At present, unvaccinated players must continue to get tested daily, wear masks and practice physical distancing.
These players are allowed to eat meals with teammates, but can’t participate in media or marketing activities while traveling. They are also not 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.
Some NFL players have gone public with their concerns about getting vaccinated. Buffalo Bills slot receiver Cole Beasley refuses to get vaccinated and has made several anti-vaccine statements via social media.
Washington Football Team's defensive end Montez Sweat has also spoken about how he is "not a fan" of getting the vaccine. Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Dranols is another player who has said he is not vaccinated and was still considering his options.