outbreaks amongst unvaccinated NFL gamers this coming season may end in groups being hit with computerized losses and have large implications for who makes it to the playoffs and the Tremendous Bowl. That is in line with an NFL memo reportedly despatched to all groups Thursday and first shared to social media by NFL Community reporter Tom Pelissero.
“If a recreation can’t be rescheduled throughout the present 18-week schedule and is cancelled attributable to a Covid outbreak amongst non-vaccinated gamers on one of many competing groups, the membership with the outbreak will forfeit the competition,” the memo reads.
Along with getting an computerized loss, the staff could even be fined.
Representatives from the NFL did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
It is much less clear from the memo what occurs within the occasion of an outbreak amongst vaccinated gamers, or some kind of mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated gamers.
“If a membership can not play attributable to a COVID spike in vaccinated people, we’ll try to attenuate the aggressive and financial burden on each collaborating groups,” the memo reads.
The NFL has already introduced it isto its league schedule this season, with every staff enjoying a complete of 17 common, nonplayoff video games for the primary time. The memo emphasizes the league does not anticipate including a 19th week to accommodate rescheduling video games.
The vaccine coverage seems to be a strategy to pressure widespread vaccination of gamers with out outright requiring it.
The earlier season noticed various odd, unprecedented eventualities because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most video games had been performed in stadiums that had been both empty or attended by only a few thousand socially distanced followers. A number of video games had been rescheduled attributable to outbreaks, however none had been canceled and no staff was pressured to forfeit.
Nonetheless there have been a number of weird video games and mismatches that may as nicely have been forfeits attributable to particular person gamers being sidelined by outbreaks. Most notably, the Denver Broncos misplaced handily to the New Orleans Saints in a recreation during which all the Broncos quarterbacks had been prohibited from taking the sphere. A practice-squad participant was elevated to play the function, and there have been a smattering of direct snaps to working backs.
The technique wasn’t profitable and Denver misplaced 31-3. This yr it appears groups could also be pressured to keep away from such humiliation and simply take the L routinely.