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The NFL is is set to mandate all NFL Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff, including head coaches, assistants and others, must receive a Covid-19 booster by Dec. 27 or face considerable restrictions.
“On November 29, the CDC issued a study showing that the effectiveness of the approved Covid-19 vaccines may decrease over time and has recommended that all eligible vaccinated individuals over the age of 18 should receive a booster shot,” an email sent out by the NFL office Monday night reads.
“Given the increased prevalence of the virus in our communities, our experts have recommended we implement the CDC’s recommendation.”
The memo makes it clear all staff must receive the booster by the Dec. 27 deadline to retain tiered status under the NFL’s Covid protocols.
A source told OutKick that would mean coaches declining the booster would have no access to players, and no ability to travel with the team
“Basically we’d be kicked out of Tier 1,” the source told OutKick.
All NFL coaches and Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff are vaccinated but there was an unspoken understanding they would be good for the 2021 season. The new booster mandate is already causing some staff to complain about added measures for them while players need not get vaccinated at all.
Another source, speaking for coaches on his team, texted OutKick that the staff he’s on sees the following issues:
“1. There are a large amount of staff that at some point have already had Covid and feel like they have the antibodies and the booster is irrelevant.
“2. There’s a lack of educated choice/decision versus a mandate.
“3. There’s a lack of serious illness as it relates to players — meaning minimal hospitalizations and post-Covid issues.
“4. Players are not mandated to receive the vaccine — just the staff.
“5. And there is little to zero proof that the booster will prevent anyone from getting Covid much less transmitting it.”
The new mandate would not require players to get the booster. Indeed, the league has not mandated players get any of the Covid-19 vaccines at all because the NFL Players Association would not agree.
The NFL and its franchises have strict rules in place about support staff and administration that mandates all employees who have contact with players to be fully vaccinated.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero