With less than two weeks to go before NFL training camps open, 13 of 32 teams have reportedly reached the 85 percent COVID-19 vaccination threshold, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
That figure has increased over the past couple days. On Monday, Pelissero reported 7 teams had crossed the 85 percent threshold. Under NFL rules, teams that reach that 85 percent vaccination figure can operate with fewer restrictions in 2021.
Pelissero also reported 73.8 percent of players have received one shot, meaning more teams could pass the 85 percent threshold in the coming weeks. Two teams, however, are under a 50 percent vaccination rate, according to Pelissero.
It’s unclear which teams have reached that 85 percent threshold and which two clubs are under 50 percent. That could become more clear once training camps open. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to lift mask restrictions for players who are fully vaccinated, so fans will at least know which players have received the vaccine once training camp begins.
NFL postponed multiple games during 2020 season
The more teams vaccinated, the lower the chance the NFL has to postpone games due to COVID-19 outbreaks in 2021. The league dealt with multiple COVID-19 postponements in 2020. The Tennessee Titans were among to teams to experience game postponements due to COVID-19. Both the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens had games moved around later in the season due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Some teams lost key players due to COVID-19. The Denver Broncos had to play a game with wide receiver Kendall Hinton at quarterback after the team’s quarterback room was exposed to the virus. A number of New Orleans Saints running backs were placed on the COVID-19 list in January and missed the team’s game in Week 17.
The NFL is hoping to avoid those situations in 2021, but that will depend on how many players and teams are vaccinated heading into the regular season.
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