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New NFL protocols incentivize players, staff to get vaccinated

Mike Florio and Peter King react to negative comments around the league about the NFL's new rule freeing up restrictions on jersey numbers.

The NFL said last month that players would not be required to get vaccinated, but would be incentivized. The protocols the league unveiled today show how that is being done.

A memo the league circulated to all teams says that players and staff members are no longer required to be tested daily -- if they’re fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated players and team staffers will now only be tested once a week.

Players and staff members will also no longer have to stay away from the team facility for a day after travel, if they’re fully vaccinated. And they won’t have to quarantine after close contact with an infected person, but again only if they’re fully vaccinated.

In other words, life as an NFL player is going to be a lot more convenient once you’re fully vaccinated. Although the league can’t require players to get vaccinated, the new policies were put into place in conjunction with the NFL Players Association, so the players are on board.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and every adult should get them. More than 200 million doses have now been administered, but plenty of Americans aren’t vaccinated yet. Those who haven’t done so should make their plans to get vaccinated now, whether they’re an NFL player or any member of the general public.