COVID-19 breakouts from unvaccinated NFL players could lead to forfeitures of games and paychecks in the 2021-2022 season.
The league warned teams that game forfeitures will only occur if the games cannot be rescheduled and will only affect the team that had the COVID-19 breakout.
“Whether to reschedule a postponed game will be dependent on health and safety reasons at the recommendation of medical experts as well as considerations of stadium availability, schedule integrity, fan convenience, and other appropriate matters,” the league said in a memo Thursday, according to ESPN.
After the announcement, players around the league began to chime in, with the Arizona Cardinals’ star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins saying the news was making him “question my future in the NFL.”
The Los Angeles Rams’ cornerback Jalen Ramsay said he would not judge a teammate that decided to not get vaccinated.
“Just because my teammate(s) personally decide not to get the vaccine, I won’t think they are a bad teammate,” Los Angeles Rams corner back Jalen Ramsay said after the announcement.
While several games were rescheduled in 2020 due to COVID-19 breakouts, none were canceled and at times, teams played their scheduled games without multiple players who tested positive.
The NFL said that 75% of the league’s players had been vaccinated, with each individual team having vaccination rates above 80%, as of Thursday.