NFL threatens forfeits, loss of pay for COVID outbreaks, cancellations
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL threatens forfeits, loss of pay for COVID-19 outbreaks, cancellations

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey surprised many in the college football community Monday when he said that teams could be made to forfeit if they cannot play in any given week this fall because of COVID-19 absences and/or other issues. 

The NFL has gone several steps further to encourage all players to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as possible.

On Thursday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero delivered a bombshell of a report regarding a league memo that says teams will forfeit and be given a loss if unable to field a squad for a scheduled game because of a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players.

Additionally, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could punish clubs responsible for an outbreak if they haven't hit at least the 85% vaccination threshold required for the loosening of certain health and safety protocols. As of now, the league does not intend to add an extra week to complete rescheduled games.

The NFL and NFL Players Association have previously said they cannot mandate players get vaccinated against COVID-19, but the league is now threatening to withhold pay if a game is canceled because of a coronavirus outbreak among unvaccinated personnel.

Earlier in the day, NFL Media's Judy Battista reported only 14 clubs have reached the 85% vaccination mark among players. She added over 78% of players league-wide have received at least one vaccine shot. 

Expect those numbers to begin to rise dramatically through and beyond the start of training camp sessions around the NFL. 

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo elaborated:

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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