NFL unveils new rules for teams that might cause COVID outbreak

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Posted at 1:48 PM, Jul 22, 2021

NEW YORK — The National Football League plans to move full speed ahead with the 18-week season and if a team can’t play due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in players or staff; the infected team will forfeit and both teams will lose a lot more than that.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, “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.”

Pellisero continued saying that a team responsible for a canceled game due to an outbreak among unvaccinated players or staff will “be responsible for financial losses and subject to potential discipline from the commissioner.” Those financial losses could be a significant loss for everyone involved.

The league said if a game is cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players or staff, neither team’s players will receive their weekly salary and Commissioner Goodell can impose additional penalties, “particularly if the COVID outbreak is reasonably determined to be the result of a failure by club personnel to follow applicable protocols.”

Put another way, the league told the teams Thursday, get everyone vaccinated and play your scheduled game on time, or else it’s going to cost you!

The NFL has been pushing forward with its plans for this season and has already laid down significant differences for how players and staff who are vaccinated and those who aren’t vaccinated will be facing this year. The league said nearly all clubs have vaccinated 100 percent of their Tier 1 and 2 staff and more than 75 percent of players are in the process of being vaccinated.

Even with the NFL’s moves, a few players have vocally said they aren’t and won’t get vaccinated.

One of the most vocal has been Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley who has said he won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine no matter what. Beasley’s decision could complicate the Bills’ hopes for a deep playoff run if there’s an outbreak of COVID on the team and the Bills can’t get on the field one week.