The NFL is unlikely to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory. The league can, however, try to persuade players to choose to get the shot(s).
One viable possibility comes from what the NBA is doing. Via Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com, the NBA and NBA Players Association have agreed to a new protocol that provided expanded benefits to players who have been fully vaccinated.
A memo distributed to all NBA teams explained that fully-vaccinated individuals will no longer have to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19, they can have friends, family, and others visit without testing or registration, and can dine outdoors at restaurants.
For NBA teams on which 85 percent of the players and 85 percent of the staff are fully-vaccinated, masks no longer will be required at the practice facility, the teams will have more flexibility to leave the team hotel during road trips, and can dine indoors and outdoors at restaurants.
That’s the way to get NFL players to choose to get the vaccination. Forcing them won’t work. Offering them dramatically reduced restrictions and requirements will.