Roughly 93% of NFL players were vaccinated against COVID-19 heading into the final weekend of preseason games. It was expected that rate would either increase or decrease after clubs reduced rosters to 53 active players earlier this week.
It appears that wasn’t the case.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the player COVID-19 vaccination rate remained at 93% ahead of the Labor Day holiday.
The NFL and NFL Players Association have repeatedly insisted no player can be cut only for remaining unvaccinated, but some observers and reporters either suggested or directly said that one reason the New England Patriots parted ways with veteran quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday was because he allegedly wouldn’t get one of the available shots and recently missed time due to a so-called “misunderstanding” of the league’s COVID-19 protocols. However, New England head coach Bill Belichick told reporters Wednesday Newton’s vaccination status played no role in the team’s decision.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer got himself and his employer in hot water when he admitted vaccination statuses may have impacted at least some roster decisions.
“That was part of the [considerations such as] production, let’s start talking about this, and also is he vaccinated or not? Can I say that that was a decision-maker? It was certainly in consideration,” Meyer explained.
The Jaguars later released a statement after it was learned the NFLPA was looking into the situation: