First reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero; the message from the NFL remains clear. If teams struggle to reschedule games because of a COVID-19 outbreak amongst unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak would forfeit, and be credited with a loss.
On July 16, the Associated Press released a report listing two teams who currently sit under the 50% vaccinated threshold; the Indianapolis Colts, and the Washington Football Team.
In a follow up report from ESPN, 13 teams have crossed 85% rate, with Pittsburgh, Miami, Carolina, and Denver having the highest vaccination rate.
In more specific language from the NFL’s memo to teams; it says:
“Every club is obligated under the Constitution and Bylaws to have its team ready to play at the scheduled time and place. A failure to do so is deemed conduct detrimental. There is no right to postpone a game.”The National Football League’s memo to teams about COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players
The nail in the coffin, comes in the form of direct consequences to the athletes, who would have their pay affected due to these cancellations.
Training Camp for the Washington Football Team begins on July 27th.