NFL Will Not Require Player Vaccinations

The NFL has no intention of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for players, coaches or team staff members, the league’s chief medical officer said.

Dr. Allen Sills said he hopes everyone will get vaccinated and that vaccinated individuals will have certain privileges and precautions that won’t apply to unvaccinated individuals. Such privileges and precautions include full participation in team rooms during the annual player draft next month, ESPN reports.

However, Sills insisted on the NFL Network on Thursday that the vaccination will not be a prerequisite for participation in the 2021 season.

“What we are focusing on is education. We want everyone to have the facts and we believe that this is an important step forward … We hope that everyone gets vaccinated. That would be our hope.”

Dr. Allen Stills, NFL Chief Medical Officer

The memo states that draft rooms with any non-vaccinated personnel present will be subject to a maximum limit of 20 individuals and must comply with the protocols — this requires physical distancing and mask-wearing, and prohibits eating and drinking.

The memo also allows for a maximum of 10 fully vaccinated individuals in the draft room.

If all individuals are fully vaccinated, the NFL’s website states masks will not be required, physical distancing measures will be relaxed, and eating and drinking will be allowed.

ESPN reports the NFLPA is continuing to advocate for an entirely virtual offseason, similar to what the league administered in 2020, and will demand daily testing if there are any in-person workouts.

Owners believe daily testing will not be necessary this summer in training camp once most players are vaccinated, ESPN reports.

Courtesy of the CDC.

The CDC reports that about 133.3 million total vaccine doses have been administered, with 14.3% of the total American population fully vaccinated.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. The title is a great headline, and should be across the board internationally with regard to businesses, events, travel, anything!

    The Chief Medical Officer’s statement contradicts itself:
    ““What we are focusing on is education. We want everyone to have the facts…
    We hope that everyone gets vaccinated.”

    How about the fact that we don’t need a vaccine for a disease with a 99 1/2% survival rate?
    Does anyone actually KNOW what ‘s IN ‘the vaccine’? Anybody care?

    It’s like Coke… Most people drink it. Don’t care that it’s absolutely terrible for you..
    Have a vaccine and a smile!

    • That 99.5% survival rate is for 50-74 years of age, without having access to treatments. For NFL age players it’s 99.98%. Completely agree, a vaccine is not needed for anyone under 75.

      Being 53 and in good physical condition, I will take my chances. If you want to a take an experimental gene therapy regimen to remove that .005 risk, go right ahead. Then you are part of a clinical trial and a lab rat.

      That said someone like Andy Reid should take it. If you’re over 75 you should probably take it. Everyone else, nope.

  2. Who exactly is put at risk if someone decides not to take a vaccine, while some do? Isn’t it only the person knowingly refusing? They are agreeing to assume the risk on themselves, and for a very low mortality disease for 99% of the population. The people who get vaccinated have nothing to worry about(if this is actually a vaccine like they say), and those who don’t, happily and knowingly do so. So what? What’s the mysterious risk vaccine mandators are trying to mitigate? Are they truly that concerned about every individual’s health? They would be out on roads yelling at each person driving over the speed limit in that case. It’s obviously not the driver. They want another control lever to pull, period. We aren’t stupid. We’ve seen what “science” they based mask mandates and lockdowns on, so they have ruined their credibility. I’m not following the logic of people pushing for mandating a vaccine for a moderately dangerous disease…because there doesn’t appear to be any.

  3. Read between the lines. Pharma knows that they’re never going to get 100% participation for their shot. So, now there’s “if you get the shot, life will be normal! If you don’t, you can’t play on the playground”. Its an emotion-based money grab. After a couple of months, the unvaccinated “punishments” will stop because simple economics shows that alienating massive numbers of people is never good business.

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