By John keim From ESPN, Washington soccer team coach Ron Rivera told reporters Tuesday that more than 50% of Washington players have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Compare, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (h / t Nick Shook) reported earlier in the day that 85% of players across the league have received at least one shot.
Rivera last year battled squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, and is considered immunocompromised and at high risk for COVID-19. He admitted that his club’s low vaccination rate has him “more than frustrated” this summer.
“When I am in a group and the group is not vaccinated or there is a mixture, I put on the mask and I do it for health reasons because no one really knows,” explained Rivera when talking about the most contagious Delta variant. “I have to do that. And I just wish and hope that our guys can understand that.”
Even before the NFL threatened to force a team to resign if it cannot play a scheduled game this season due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players, Washington had a Harvard immunologist and virus expert speak with their players about available and safe vaccines. . Rivera noted Tuesday that there is still “reluctance” among various players to take the shots and revealed that he realizes that absences related to the coronavirus could reduce the chances that his team will repeat as NFC East champions.
“But what is still hanging over our heads, unfortunately, is the whole COVID situation,” he said. “We have to figure that out and we have to understand it. We do it – as a football team, as individuals, we have to understand what is really at stake in terms of opportunities in the future and we will see. We will see how everything unfolds, and even To a certain extent this tells us a bit about ourselves. ”
NFL teams that reach an 85% vaccination threshold among players can have some relaxed health and safety protocols, and Pelissero reports that 14 teams have crossed the 90% vaccination mark.
According to Chase goodbread from the NFL’s website, Rivera added that the entire Washington coaching staff is fully vaccinated.