Unvaccinated NFL players will be fined for violating COVID-19 protocol
Unvaccinated players will be slapped with a fine of $14,650 if they violate the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol.
A league spokesman confirmed to ESPN that Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians was “correct” when he was quoted in a Tampa Times report earlier this week saying it would cost a player “$14,000 on the spot every time he isn’t wearing a mask or is breaking a protocol.” Arians later clarified to ESPN that the fine system was “NFL policy.”
“The stipulations place a premium on wearing appropriate PPE and offer restrictions on the number of people and types of venues players may gather in for social or team-related purposes,” ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine reported.
Arians estimated the defending Super Bowl champions expect to have nearly 85 percent of their players fully vaccinated by the end of training camp, although players such as running back Leonard Fournette have expressed reluctance.
“Vaccine I can’t do it,” Fournette tweeted Thursday.
Arians added that any players deciding against receiving a vaccine will have to “just follow last year’s rules” in camp, which is slated to open Sunday.
“It’s just a matter of staying healthy,” Arians said. “You’re not going to win with third stringers. I’ve been down that road. We had a really, really good team in Arizona. We lose [running back] David Johnson, we lose [quarterback] Carson Palmer, we lose our tackle. You can’t control injuries. If they happen, they happen.
“We were very fortunate last year, and our training staff and sports science staff was terrific, and that had a lot to do with injury prevention.”