One of the questions raised on Friday in connection with the postponement of three Week 15 games relates to one of the threats made by the NFL before the 2021 season began.
Why aren’t teams like the Browns, Washington, and the Rams forced to forfeit in lieu of postponing their games, to the competitive detriment of the Raiders, Eagles, and Seahawks, respectively?
The NFL used the vague threat of forfeits as a way to cajole players into getting vaccinated, explaining that any canceled games arising from outbreaks among unvaccinated players for a given team would result in that team taking a loss. With 96-percent of all players vaccinated, and with the NFL suggesting that the vast majority of the positives come from off-site exposure, it becomes difficult if not impossible to tie the exposure back to the unvaccinated players in a given team.
So forfeits most likely won’t happen. Thus, if a game is canceled, it’s simply one fewer game for the two teams involved. At that point, winning percentages would become relevant to determining playoff positioning when comparing teams that played 16 games to those that played 17.
More importantly, the players wouldn’t be paid. That’s an agreement that was made back in 2020. No game, no pay.
That’s something that the players complaining about the postponements should keep in mind. If the alternative is not playing at all, the alternative results in the players involved not getting paid.