Urban Meyer, Jaguars coach, stated that a player’s status in vaccination was being considered when the team reduced its roster from 53 to 53 on Tuesday. This led to an NFLPA investigation.
Meyer stated that the NFL’s stricter COVID-19 protocol on unvaccinated football players influenced his decision as well as Trent Baalke, his general manager.
“Everyone was considered,” Meyer said (via ESPN). Let’s talk about it, as well as whether he was vaccinated. That was the decision-maker, can I? That was definitely something that I considered.”
Meyer’s remarks were not required by the NFL. The association initiated an investigation into Meyer’s statements. Players who have not been vaccinated must follow stricter protocols than players who have. This includes daily testing, mandatory masks for weight and practice rooms, and 10-day absences after a positive test.
The league also informed its teams that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and be credited with a loss, according to a report by Kevin Patra of Around the NFL.
Soon after Meyer had discussed his final roster with the NFLPA, ProFootballFocus received a comment from them indicating that they would review his remarks.
Comment by the NFLPA to PFT about Jaguars coach Urban Meyer’s admission that his vaccination status played a role in roster reductions: “These comments led us to launch an investigation.”
ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalkSeptember 1, 2021
According to ProFootballTalk, one of Jacksonville’s surprises was safety Jarrod Wilson. He wore a mask in the facility and it wasn’t uncommon for him to do so. Meyer stated that they are still in discussions with Wilson about how to get him back. Meyer suggested either through 16 practice-squad spots or the NFL waiver wire. They have priority over Wilson.
Meyer described the waiver wire as “a bit like free agency for the vested vet that you’re going see.” It’s nearly free agency because they aren’t the waiver guys. The young players are also involved in this process, which is happening right as we speak.
Tom Pelissero, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, reported Monday that testing of fully-vaccinated NFL players has been increased to a week. Players who have been fully vaccinated will not be considered high-risk contacts. However, they may be subject to five day testing every other day.
According to ESPN, Meyer said the team tried to educate its players about the vaccine and encouraged them to receive it, but that each individual was allowed to decide for himself whether to get it. Meyer seemed to suggest that team chances of winning would be affected due to the tight league policies. This meant that Josh Allen, a defensive end, was not allowed to play in the final preseason game, even though he didn’t have coronavirus.
Meyer stated, “I’m not sure if that’s allowed but he has never had COVID.” Meyer said, “So that is pretty punitive.”
Publiated at 02:16.38 +0000, Wed, 01 Sep 2021