Friday, September 17, 2021

NFL to fine players who refuse to use a tracking device, undergo COVID-19 testing, report says

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The most controversial issue in the NFL is about to have an even bigger impact on players – their wallets.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported that the league sent teams a memo on Tuesday outlining COVID-19 protocols during training camp and preseason. According to the report, players, whether vaccinated or not, would face a $ 14,650 fine if they refuse to use a tracking device that can detect whether they have gone to prohibited areas outside of team facilities. Pelissero also reported that players who refuse to undergo virus testing will face a $ 50,000 fine.

MORE: New NFL COVID-19 Rules Have Big Implications for Teams with Highest and Lowest Vaccination Rates

Pelissero outlined the other league mandates in the note. Unvaccinated players must wear masks during lifts, rounds and practices, “except when doing so interferes with their ability to participate in athletic activities.” Inactive players who are not vaccinated must wear masks while on the touchline.

According to Pelissero, the COVID-19 guidelines have been jointly approved by the league and the NFL Players Association.

This isn’t the first time the league has taken a tough stance on protocols. He informed clubs Thursday that if a game is postponed due to an outbreak among unvaccinated players and cannot be rescheduled during the league’s 18-week regular season, the team with the outbreak will lose the game and the players will not be paid. team players. It appears that Tuesday’s memorandum emphasizes the fact that the NFL is not interested in dealing with the significant logistical hurdles it faced last year when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement, but not the cancellation, of games.

Vaccination has been a topic of debate not only among the players but also among the coaching staff. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott declined to say Friday if he was vaccinated, saying, “I think that’s HIPAA.” The Vikings eliminated Rick Dennison as offensive line coach after he refused to get the vaccine, although he will. stay with the team as a senior offensive advisor.

It will be interesting to see if the NFL’s game plan of attacking players’ wallets will lead to higher vaccination rates.

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