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Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill wasn’t planning on getting a Covid vaccine, and then the NFL stepped in. Feeling as though the league “forced his hand”, the quarterback opted to get vaccinated rather than be “miserable”.
Ryan Tannehill told the media he’s “in the process” of being vaccinated and would not have done it “without the protocols they’re (the NFL) forcing on us.” #Titans
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) July 28, 2021
Following Thursday’s practice, Tannehill addressed his vaccination status: “I’m currently in the (vaccination) process right now,” Tannehill said.“The NFL has kind of made it clear what they want to happen. If you don’t fall in line, they’re going to make your life miserable with all the protocols.”
Earlier this month the NFL announced strict penalties for teams and players who are not vaccinated. In addition to forfeiture of games and pay, the league also instituted protocols restricting unvaccinated players in a number of ways, including: required masks and travel separate from the rest of the team.
Such protocols left Tannehill feeling forced to comply with the league’s wishes: “I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine without the protocols that they’re enforcing on us. I think it’s a personal decision for everyone. Everyone has to make the best decision for them and their families,” added Tannehill. “That’s kind of our mindset in this building. But they’re trying to force your hand, and they ultimately have forced a lot of hands by the protocols.”
With the decision seemingly made for him, Tannehill is turning the page and preparing for his third season as Tennessee’s signal caller: “It is what it is. I love this game. I love this team,” said Tannehill. “I want to be able to compete and do the things I think are important to build chemistry and win football games. Ultimately, that forced my hand into getting the vaccine.”
Entering the season as AFC South favorites, Tannehill and the Titans will give it their best shot come September.