WOW: NFL Teams Will Forfeit Games (That Can’t Be Rescheduled) If Unvaccinated Players Cause a COVID Outbreak and Cancellation

To its credit, the NFL has been able to sit back and learn from how other professional sports leagues have handled playing during a COVID-impacted season.

And much like it did last year, it appears as if the league is set to put what it gathered to use:

WOW! The NFL is really on top of this. I wasn’t sure how much more it could do beyond incentivizing the heck out of getting vaccinated, but the league has done it.

Actions have consequences. And in the case of a game being canceled due to a team COVID outbreak, inaction among players, coaches, and staffers could have significant implications. As NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reports, the possibility of losing game checks, receiving discipline from the league office, and potentially even the forfeiture of a game in the standings are among the punishments for teams that have to cancel a game due to a COVID outbreak in their locker room. It doesn’t get much more serious than putting that on the table. Now, will the message come across loud and clear? Only time will tell.

And, sure, part of me wishes the league would have put this initiative into action months ago. Doing it well before the start of training camps could have been more conducive to getting more players vaccinated earlier. But better late than never, I suppose. Perhaps this gives the league and its teams opportunities to provide vaccinations for players at camp? In any case, good for the NFL for drawing a line in the sand before the regular season.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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