On the day a 10th team met the NFL’s 85 percent threshold of vaccinated players, the news is not as optimistic for four other teams.
Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press reports Washington, Indianapolis, Arizona and the Chargers have the lowest vaccination rates in the league. All four have fewer than 50 percent of their players vaccinated.
The Cowboys were one of the most recent teams to cross the 50 percent mark, per Maaddi.
As all training camps begin in the next two weeks, those teams will face competitive disadvantages.
Teams are required to have some method of easily identifying vaccinated individuals, using color-coded wristbands, credentials or another similar method, per Maaddi. Fully vaccinated players face relaxed protocols for 2021.
Unvaccinated players are required to undergo daily testing, to wear masks and to practice social distancing. They are prohibited from eating meals with teammates, from using the sauna or steam room and from leaving the team hotel while traveling for road games.
The NFL sent a memo to clubs last week, per Maaddi, that updated protocols for teams traveling to joint practices. The traveling party will be either 100 or 140, depending on the club’s vaccination percentage. The club must limit the number of individuals traveling on the team transportation to 85 but may travel additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff up to the applicable daily tier limits separately to attend the practice.
The NFL is not naming the teams that have an 85 percent vaccination rate, but the Steelers, Dolphins, Saints and Broncos all were reported as having crossed that threshold. Maaddi added the Panthers to that list.