Ron Rivera: Washington Football Team head coach 'frustrated' by roster's NFL-low vaccine uptake
Rivera, who is immunocompromised after a battle with cancer in 2020, did not mask his frustration with players on the Washington Football Team for dragging feet in seeking Covid-19 immunisations; as of July 26, the NFL said the Washington Football Team was only 60 per cent vaccinated.
Last Updated: 27/07/21 10:19pm
Cancer survivor Ron Rivera, head coach of the Washington Football Team, is confounded by the anti-vaccination sentiment evident in his team's league-low vaccination numbers.
Rivera, who is immunocompromised after a battle with cancer in 2020, didn't mask his frustration with players on the Washington Football Team for dragging their feet in seeking Covid-19 immunisations.
As of July 26, the NFL said the Washington Football Team was only 60 per cent vaccinated.
"I'm truly frustrated. I'm beyond frustrated. Part of the reason I walk in with a mask on is I'm immune-deficient. And with this new variant... who knows," Rivera said. "I just hope that our guys can understand that."
Hoping not to be forced to add Covid survivor to the medical challenges he has defeated, Rivera allowed he will share information but ask players to make their own decision.
"I think the big thing really is - have individual conversations," he said.
"I'm not going to tell anyone what to do. I hope we can get to these guys, to help them understand it's not just to them, but also the folks around them."
The NFL informed teams earlier in July they could potentially forfeit a game due to a coronavirus outbreak among non-vaccinated players, and players on both teams wouldn't get paid that week.
"As we learned last year, we can play a full season if we maintain a firm commitment to adhering to our health and safety protocols and to making needed adjustments in response to changing conditions," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo sent to clubs.
Goodell says the league does not anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that can't be rescheduled within an 18-week regular season.
However, forfeits are among the consequences.
"If a game can't be rescheduled and is cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc," Goodell said in the memo.
"For purposes of playoff seeding, the forfeiting team will be credited with a loss and the other team will be credited with a win."
In addition, players on both teams will not be paid for the lost contest, and the team responsible for the cancelled game due to unvaccinated players will cover financial losses and be subject to potential discipline from the commissioner's office.