Forfeits are highly unlikely

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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.

20 responses to “Forfeits are highly unlikely

  1. This question of forfeiting never came up when the Steelers and Ravens were about to square off last year. Few remember that the Browns stomped the Steelers with their head coach sitting in his home basement and a starting offensive lineman that met Baker Mayfield for the first time ever while joining the first huddle.

  2. Suspend the season for two months, move all players and staff to a bubble location and then resume the season

  3. jr4real says:
    December 17, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    A lot of lawsuits coming!
    Hmm….like last year? 🙄

  4. What a mess.

    All self-made.

    Cancellation punishes competently managed, winning teams. What a joke.

  5. wpayback says:
    December 17, 2021 at 8:47 pm
    I’m curious. What happens Monday if a team like the Browns continues to have high cases?
    I believe that is the point the game would be cancelled. They can’t really postpone any longer with games just a few days later for both teams.

  6. The pay issue is much, much bigger than whether the guys on the field get paid. Broadcasters are paying the NFL and won’t accept not having a game to show.

  7. wpayback says:
    December 17, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    I’m curious. What happens Monday if a team like the Browns continues to have high cases?


    What happens Monday if Raiders suddenly have a COVID outbreak and Browns are all fully recovered?

  8. So who is a the president of he NFLPA? A browns player!!!!

    Now we know why the game was moved….

  9. It obviously is determined on what organization it effects. Goodell wouldn’t want to upset his buddy Hallam.

  10. 96 percent of players are vaccinated, yet here we are

    You can’t keep blaming the unvaccinated and say “science”. Numbers aren’t lying. If we get 96 percent of Americans to be vaccinated, covid will still be here. Just like the nfl, just like the entire world. People all over shame the unvaccinated. I’m vaccinated btw, and got the booster.

  11. COVID is here to stay. Period, we have to decide at what point it’s to be lived with and we’re there, we HAVE to be. Play on, let this crap continue to mutate and weaken as it’s been doing. Sure it spreads quicker/easier but it’s weaker with every mutation.

  12. Roger Goodell is a joke. The NFL has different rules for different teams and different players. Last year the Broncos had to play a game with all three QBs on the COVID list. The Red Potato Skins on the other hand get the game postponed until Tuesday night! Goodell is by far the worst commissioner in professional sports. Now some teams will have to play three games in thirteen days…and the league talks about player safety. What a disgrace the NFL has become.

  13. The show goes on. Lots of people going from sitting on the couch to playing on gameday, with little to no practice in between. It will be schoolyard football this weekend. Will be fun to watch the non-superstars in action. Causes you never know which of those players is a diamond in the rough.

  14. All of these covid outbreaks and most in vaxxed players and yet Beasley the one outspoken anti-vaxxer has never gotten it, who’d have thunk it?

    I’ve been saying since the start of this the best vaccine is the one our body produces but it can’t keep up with the virus if you wear a mask or social distance all the time, your body has to come into contact with the virus to make antibodies to fight it off!

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