The COVID-19 pandemic impacted pretty much every facet of our lives, and the NFL was not exempt from that. Empty stadiums and greatly reduced crowds, players sitting out due to positive COVID tests, delayed games, and more.
Now, with vaccines readily available, the NFL must figure out how to move forward with mixed opinions on the vaccine.
It was announced in March that the NFL would not require players to get the COVID vaccine; but some coaches and franchises are making an extra effort to get as many people vaccinated as possible. Ron Rivera, head coach of the Washington Football Team, brought in an immunologist who is also a vaccine researcher to talk to the team. Defensive end Montez Sweat told the media he wasn’t convinced.
“I’m not a fan of it,” Sweat told the media. “I probably won’t get vaccinated until I get more facts and stuff. I’m not a fan of it at all.”
So far, the Texans haven’t had any players who have publicly spoken out against the vaccine. With the NFL offering relaxed COVID protocols to teams who meet a certain vaccination rate, head coach David Culley was asked if he felt the Texans would reach that rate and have relaxed COVID protocols at training camp.
“At this point, we’re in good shape,” said Culley. “I don’t know exactly what the numbers are, but I know that we’ve done very well here. I know that our players have done very well.”
Culley also said the number of players and coaches getting vaccinations is rising.
“Those numbers are getting better. I’m not exactly sure what the exact protocol is going to be when we get back, but we feel like at this point that we’re going to be just fine with where we are with the vaccinations.”