NFL to Fine Unvaccinated Players for Covid Protocol Violations

Cleveland Hughes wears Seahawks gear as he gets the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from Andrea Barnett during opening day of the Community Vaccination Site, a collaboration between the City of Seattle, First & Goal Inc., and Swedish Health Services at the Lumen Field Event Center in Seattle, Washington on March 13, …
JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

The NFL will pay very close attention to whether unvaccinated players follow Covid protocols this season, and if they don’t, the players will end up paying the league.

According to another in a series of recent and aggressive new restrictions targeting unvaccinated players, the NFL announced on Saturday that if a player violates one of the league-mandated Covid protocols that applies to unvaccinated players, they will receive a $14,650 fine.

Kevin Dietsch_UPI Photo

Kevin Dietsch/UPI Photo

The new penalty comes on the heels of another restriction announced this week in which the league said that if a Covid outbreak among unvaccinated players caused a game to be canceled, players from neither team would be paid. Moreover, the team that had the outbreak would forfeit the game and be liable for financial penalties.

“We do not anticipate adding a ’19th week’ to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season,” the league stated.

According to NFL protocols, teams with 85% percent of their rosters vaccinated will have far fewer restrictions than teams that fall below that mark.

On Friday, longtime NFL assistant Rick Dennison parted ways with the Vikings after refusing to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Rick Dennison

Getty Images

According to league rules, all Tier 1 personnel, including coaches, must receive the vaccine or provide religious and/or medical reasons for why they cannot. Dennison’s departure comes after Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins tweeted and then deleted a post saying that the league’s threat to punish teams if players choose not to receive the coronavirus vaccine had prompted him to ponder his future in the NFL.

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