Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said he and general manager Trent Baalke took a player’s vaccination status into consideration when making final cuts to the roster.
“They were all considered,” Meyer said, according to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. “That was part of the [considerations such as] production, let’s start talking about this, and also, is he vaccinated or not? Can I say that he was a decision maker? It was certainly under consideration. “
NFL Players Association deputy executive director for external affairs George Atallah told ESPN that Meyer’s comments “have led us to open an investigation.” It is not clear what the consequences could be.
Players are not required to be vaccinated and teams cannot eliminate players based solely on their vaccination status. Again, Meyer said that vaccination status was one of the things considered, not that players were eliminated due to vaccination status.
The difference in COVID-19 protocols is different for vaccinated and unvaccinated players. For example, if an unvaccinated player tests positive for the coronavirus, they will lose more time than if a vaccinated player tests positive.
The NFL also implemented severe consequences for unvaccinated players, including a $ 14,650 fine each time they violate COVID-19 protocols. Several players have already been fined, including Buffalo Bills wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley. McKenzie decided to get vaccinated as a result.
furthermore, the NFL announced Earlier this summer, teams experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players will be forced to forfeit their postponed games if they cannot be rescheduled within the 18-week schedule.
According to ESPN, Meyer said the team tried to educate players about the vaccine and encouraged them to get vaccinated at the beginning of training camp. Said in july that jaguars were more than 80% vaccinated. It is unclear how much, if at all, that number has changed.