The NFL Will Make Teams Forfeit Games And Accept A Loss If A COVID Outbreak Happens Among Unvaccinated Players

In a memo sent to teams on Thursday afternoon, the NFL made clear that teams will face serious sanctions if a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players on their team makes playing a game untenable. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that unlike last year, when the league shuffled games seemingly every week, teams will not be afforded that luxury during the 2021 campaign.

Should teams face a situation where unvaccinated players cause an outbreak among their team, the memo said, that side will not just forfeit, they will be forced to accept a loss while the other team is given a win. Beyond that, the team would both be responsible for the financial losses they face and could see a punishment come their way via NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Further, the league explained that a game that doesn’t happen for this reason would lead to players on both teams not getting their game checks.

The league also adjusted its policies for vaccinated players who suffer breakthrough cases of COVID while simultaneously justifying this approach by pointing to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other healthcare experts.

It is unclear if the Player’s Association will push back against any of this, but it is clear that the league has zero intention of letting unvaccinated players get in the way of being able to have this upcoming season go off as smoothly as possible. If you are an unvaccinated NFL player — or, really, just any unvaccinated person in America — click here to learn where you can go to get a COVID-19 vaccine.