Covid rates have continued to rise throughout the country at honestly the worst time. What should’ve been a fall that marked a true return to pre-pandemic life, has instead been derailed because suddenly everyone thinks they’re an expert in vaccines, despite likely getting a C at best in high school chem-phys. In an effort to avoid the upcoming NFL season from being derailed by outbreaks, the organization announced any team that has an outbreak among unvaccinated players will risk a forfeit.
According to the Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all the clubs in the league informing them of the COVID protocols for the upcoming season set to start in over a month. “If a game can’t be rescheduled and is canceled due to a COVID outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc,” Goodell says in the memo.
Should a game result in a forfeit, the team with the outbreak will be given a loss and the opposing team will receive the win for playoff seeding purposes. There’s also the possibility that a game canceled due to an outbreak will result in players on both teams not getting paid that week.
Among the other key points in the memo:
— If a vaccinated person tests positive and is asymptomatic, he or she will be isolated and contact tracing will promptly occur. The positive individual will be permitted to return to duty after two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, and will thereafter be tested every two weeks or as directed by the medical staffs. Vaccinated individuals will not be subject to quarantine as a result of close contact with an infected person.
— If an unvaccinated person tests positive, the protocols from 2020 will remain in effect. The person will be isolated for a period of 10 days and will then be permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be subject to a five-day quarantine period if they have close contact with an infected individual.
— Anyone who had a previous COVID-19 infection will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they have had at least one dose of an approved vaccine.
Some NFL players have already expressed displeasure with the new rules. In a now deleted tweet, DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, said the new rules are making him reconsider his career in the NFL. My general feeling, even as a Cardinals fan, can best be summed up in the tweet below.
Quite frankly, I’m just annoyed with the unvaccinated crowd at this point. It might sound callous, but I don’t know how much sympathy I can have for folks who lack basic self-preservation skills. Just get the shot, make your money, and go about your day, goddamn.