The league expects football operations staff members of all teams to receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a ‘medical or religious’ reason to refuse.
The NFL isn’t mandating players, coaches, or staff members receive the COVID-19 vaccine amid the 2021 offseason. However, the league does expect all football operations staff members to get vaccinated unless they have a “bona fide medical or religious” reason not to.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports the league issued a memo to all 32 teams Tuesday stating that if a team employee doesn’t get vaccinated (and doesn’t have the necessary type of excuse to refuse), they will have restricted access inside their respective team’s facility. They will also not be able to work directly with their respective team’s players.
Here’s the full NFL memo, which also says teams must report weekly the number of employees who are vaccinated, as conversations with the NFLPA continue on the thresholds at which protocols on testing, PPE, travel, etc., can be relaxed. pic.twitter.com/FXuIhFP6Vh
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 13, 2021
The memo reads, “Any staffer that refuses to be vaccinated without either a religious or medical reason will not be eligible for Tier 1 or 2 status and therefore will not be permitted access to the ‘football only’ restricted area and may not work directly or in close proximity with players.”
The league additionally expects it will ease up on some of the coronavirus-related protocols for those who are vaccinated as well as alter protocols for teams that reach a certain vaccination threshold.
Teams will also be expected to report to the league every week the number of employees who have received the vaccination, as that will assist in the league implementing the anticipated protocol changes for those clubs with appropriate vaccination rates.
At this point in time, it’s still unclear how offseason programs prior to training camp will play out; whether they will be in person or virtual. With the majority of the workouts prior to training camp being optional, the Broncos and Seahawks are two of the teams that have already opted out of voluntary work.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 13, 2021
A statement on behalf of the Seattle Seahawks players: pic.twitter.com/4Bwl4KkEOI
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 13, 2021