The Associated Press reported that roughly 70 percent of all NFL players are vaccinated and that Washington is one of only four teams, along with the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers, with less than half of the roster inoculated.
The vaccination rate is a indication that many Washington players haven’t received a vaccine since June, when Coach Ron Rivera said the rate of players was “nearing 50 percent” but all coaches and football employees were vaccinated.
“The big thing is we’ve got to be able to facilitate the opportunity for these guys to understand,” Rivera told reporters at the time. “There’s a lot of messaging that’s out there. They get it on Twitter, and some of it is good, some of it is bad. I’m not sure if these guys watch the news as much as I do and try to gather enough information, but we are really trying to help them because if we can get to that herd immunity we can really cut it loose and really be able to spend time with each other.”
Rivera acknowledged that getting a vaccine is a personal choice and said that any disadvantage the team faces with fewer players vaccinated will come if protocols are broken.
“We’re going to follow the rules. We’re going to do it the right way,” Rivera said. “Would we like them to get vaccinated? Yes. I think it’s important, but again, each guy has to make their own decisions for themselves and what they think is best. At that point, we live with it and we’ll live with the situation and circumstances.”
“It’s a choice,” Rivera said of vaccination in June. “We are trying to stress the fact that if we can get to herd immunity, we’ll really be ready to get out there and enjoy things, so hopefully that will happen.”
Now with training camp less than two weeks away, the pressure is on.