Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians says entire organisation is vaccinated
Head coach Bruce Arians confirms the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are vaccinated against COVID-19; he said: "We're 100 per cent vaccinated - our entire organisation - all the players, all the coaches, everybody"
Last Updated: 03/09/21 12:27pm
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians says the entire organisation is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Buccaneers join their NFC South division rival Atlanta Falcons as the only NFL teams to proclaim 100 per cent vaccination. Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL chief medical officer, said more than 93 per cent of the players in the league are on schedule to be fully vaccinated by Week 1.
Arians said privately and repeatedly publicly he wanted the Buccaneers to treat COVID as an opponent and not take unnecessary chances in a state where the positive cases and hospitalisations were at record highs in August.
"We're 100 per cent vaccinated - our entire organization - all the players, all the coaches, everybody," Arians said.
Several players were slower to come around to the idea of receiving the vaccination.
Running back Leonard Fournette said he was not interested in the vaccine at the outset of training camp. After consideration, he said he decided it was the right thing to do.
"People are still catching it, but it makes it a lot better to have the shot," Fournette said. "We need every hand in here for these next couple big games we've got coming up."
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Arians has told his players he sets his own rules compared to those the NFL sets as protocols, saying his rules are more stringent.
"There's league rules and then there's my rules," Arians said. "We ain't going anywhere (in terms of players mingling with the general population). We're the same as last year. I don't give a crap if they're vaccinated or not. They ain't going anywhere."
The defending champions open the season against the visiting Dallas Cowboys next Thursday.