Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin made the connection between COVID vaccinations and victories in 2021. The Southeastern Conference has made it even more obvious.
Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Monday in kicking off the SEC’s media days that the league will not postpone any games this season due to COVID-19. Instead, Sankey said teams are “expected to play as scheduled.”
He has recommended the SEC remove the 53-player roster minimum that was put in place last year. So every SEC team will be on the hook to play every game as scheduled with however many players they have available.
In other words, the SEC is telling its 14 teams to get players vaccinated.
“That means your team needs to be healthy to compete, and if not, that game won’t be rescheduled,” Sankey said, via Alex Scarborough of ESPN. “And thus, to dispose of the game, the ‘forfeit’ word comes up at this point.”
Sankey said only six teams have reached an 80 percent vaccination threshold.
“That number needs to grow and grow rapidly,” Sankey said. “We have learned how to manage through a COVID environment, but we do not yet have control of a COVID environment.”
The SEC has an 85 percent COVID-19 vaccination threshold, like the NFL, for teams to avoid regular COVID testing and the requirement of wearing masks indoors.