NFL players, coaches and staff members receiving COVID-19 vaccine shots has become a hot-button topic over the past week. Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday he's not putting pressure on players to get jabbed as soon as possible, but Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians told reporters Thursday that he explained to his roster: "If you want to go back to normal, get vaccinated."
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said he enjoys seeing expressions on the faces of maskless individuals during interactions.
"At the same point in time, there are the safety measures. And if you’re not vaccinated, then you need to wear your mask," Nagy added, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. "So for us, we would love for everybody to get their vaccinations. And we encourage that and educate them on it."
Nagy continued: "We all have our own opinions on what we want to do and not do. But if you understand the education of it, if we encourage it — which is what we’re doing — then we can all make our own decisions and decide to get it."
NFL players cannot be cut for remaining unvaccinated, but a league memo sent last week made it clear coaches can lose their Tier 1 status if they don't receive their shots by this coming Friday evening. Such individuals would be banned from having direct contact with players and prohibited from attending meetings and on-the-field practices until they are vaccinated, perhaps as soon as next week.
Coronavirus-related health and safety protocols will be relaxed for a team when 85% of its players are fully vaccinated.