League chief Larry Ferazani said he was unsure why Browns union and center president JC Tretter previously claimed the league never applied for the mandate.
« We would like to see this mandate enter into force tomorrow », Ferazani told The Athletic, while adding that the players’ association had been pushing to return to Covid testing for all players at the same time as the league proposed that vaccinated players only be tested once a week.
Vaccinated players are currently only tested every fortnight, while unvaccinated players receive daily tests.
The NFL said it had offered the NFLPA a vaccine mandate and would still like one.
– Judy Battista (@judybattista) August 26, 2021
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NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr Allen Sills says nearly 93% of NFL players are vaccinated with coaches and staff 99% higher.
Since the start of training camp before the 2021 season, 68 confirmed positive cases have been recorded, with an incidence rate seven times higher in the unvaccinated than in the vaccinated.
There is an incidence rate of 2.2% in unvaccinated versus 0.3% in vaccinated gamers.
Several franchises, including the Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, and Tennessee Titans, have recently experienced what has been defined by Sills as « Groups », which prompted the league to impose the use of masks for all players, including those already vaccinated.
Last month, the league explained in a memo how teams affected by COVID-19 outbreaks would be forced to forgo games if they couldn’t reschedule during the 18-week regular schedule.
It is not clear whether breach of a vaccination mandate, if imposed, could cost an NFL player their job.
An NFL writer from The Athletic says the association « I will watch this part very closely », union leaders believing « They have integrated employment protections for unvaccinated players so that they cannot be made redundant because of their vaccination status ».
“It would be naïve to believe that vaccination status will not be part of [what] what the calculation teams are doing to determine which low-end players to keep, but that could be difficult to prove ”, they added.
Unvaccinated, die-hard players who hold steady jobs and have spoken out on the subject include Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley.