Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott contracted COVID-19 last summer, and it took him a month to recover. This offseason, Elliott received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I got the vaccine just because I wanted to put myself in the best situation to be out there for my team week in and week out,” Elliott said Thursday, via Jori Epstein of USA Today. “But I mean not everyone feels that strongly or maybe other people still have their view of vaccines. You can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do with their body.”
Elliott stressed getting vaccinated is an individual decision despite the NFL’s attempts to incentivize vaccinations.
“I grew up in a family where we didn’t get vaccines, so it’s kind of hard to tell someone who their whole life their mom and dad tell them not to get vaccines to go get vaccinated,” Elliott said. “So I mean, I don’t know. It’s everyone’s body. You can’t tell them what to do. It’s kind of touchy.”
The league told its 32 clubs Thursday that it will not reschedule games for a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players. It attached financial penalties to any forfeits arising from a COVID-19 spike among the unvaccinated, with players from both teams losing their game checks that week.
That was news to Elliott.
“Um, you said game checks?” Elliott said. “I mean, you just told me something new, but like I said, it’s everyone’s body. You’ve got to respect that. A check is only monetary. You can’t put a price on someone’s health or what they think will make them feel good or not make them feel good. Like I said, you’re kind of walking a tight line.”