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Are some NFL players using fake vaccination cards?

Mike Florio and Chris Simms wonder if Washington's preseason COVID issues will carry over to the regular season and distract a team that is already facing an uphill battle this season.

The NFL’s high vaccination rate possibly isn’t real.

Via Kalyn Kahler of, two NFL agents said that players have asked them to help get fake vaccination cards.

“I think it is a lot more common than people realize,” one agent told Kahler. “Look, you’re talking about the NFL. These guys do anything they can to fudge a weed test or a PED test.”

How hard would it be to get a fake vaccination card? It’s as low-tech as it can be. I piece of paper that easily could be forged.

A league spokesperson told Kahler this: “Any attempt by team personnel or players to use a forged or fake card would be reviewed under the personal conduct policy and subject the individual to discipline. In addition, it is a federal criminal offense. No club has reported any such activity during the verification process.”

That sounds good, but good luck proving that vaccination cards are fake. The league has delegated responsibility for spotting fakes to the teams. What incentives do the teams have in getting their own guys in trouble? Besides, given the fairly basic qualities and contents of a vaccination card, how would anyone even know that it wasn’t real?

“I haven’t Googled how to look for what gives away a fake vaccine card,” an unnamed NFL team trainer told Kahler. “I truly don’t know what the red flags are. I mean, they all look fairly normal. I am sure there are little nuances and little subtleties in fake ones but I haven’t put in the time to try to investigate what those look like.”

Who has? Who would? Thus, if someone wants to buy a fake vaccination card from the local Creed Bratton, nothing stops them from doing so. In a league with 69 players on 32 teams, it would be stupid to think it hasn’t happened.