Ryan Tannehill didn’t leave any doubt about his vaccination status. The Titans quarterback also made it clear he feels the NFL forced his hand.
“I’m in the process right now of being vaccinated,” Tannehill said, via Terry McCormick of titaninsider.com. “The NFL has kind of made it clear what they want it to happen. If you don’t fall in line, they’re going to try to make your life miserable with the protocols.”
The NFL did not, will not and cannot mandate the vaccine for players. But it has, can and will incentivize the vaccine for players and teams, while establishing strict protocols for unvaccinated players.
For the most part, the league has met its goal of getting most players vaccinated. Eighteen teams now have at least 90 percent of their players vaccinated. The Titans are one of those teams, General Manager Jon Robinson said Wednesday.
“I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine, if not for the protocols they’re enforcing on us,” Tannehill said. “I think it’s a personal decision for everyone that everyone has to make the best decision for them and their families. That’s kind of our mindset in this building. But they kind of force your hand and they ultimately have forced a lot of hands in this building by the protocols, which everyone has their own opinions on. It is what it is. I love this game, and I love this team. I want to be able to compete and do the things I think are important to build chemistry and win football games. Ultimately that forced my hand into getting the vaccine.”
Tannehill listened to the medical experts who speak to the team this spring, but it came down to not wanting to risk a competitive disadvantage for being unvaccinated.
“If not for the intensive protocols and not being able to gather with teammates, and separate locker rooms, separate meeting rooms, separate cafeteria and all those types of things where you’re losing team chemistry and the team bond, which I think is so important, I think that probably had a lot to do with guys getting vaccinated,” Tannehill said.
He would not discuss what his concern is about the vaccine.