Earlier on Tuesday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that more than half of the players currently on league rosters have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot.
It appears the Pittsburgh Steelers might be setting the standard for player vaccinations as of their first day of mandatory minicamp.
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin didn't say exactly how many players have been jabbed as of the halfway point of June but explained he's "really comfortable" with the overall number.
"We had a couple (get vaccinated) today," Tomlin said, according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I don’t know the exact percentage, but from what I understand we’re tops in the league in terms of this process."
Tomlin added: "I like the overall trajectory of our participation in the vaccination process. Guys have worked hard to adhere to policies and protocols. It’s a continuation of 2020 in terms of our attitude. We’re going to look for any advantage that compliance might give us. Participation has been awesome."
The NFL and NFL Players Association have declared players cannot be cut at any point solely because they won't get vaccinated against the coronavirus, but the league will loosen certain health and safety protocols for teams that hit the 85% threshold for vaccinated players. Because of that, Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears and Bruce Arians of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are among coaches who have openly discussed players getting their shots as soon as possible.
"If you want to go back to normal, get vaccinated," Arians told his roster.
NFLPA president and Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter told reporters Tuesday he's been vaccinated:
Browns C/NFLPA president JC Tretter on the COVID-19 vaccine: "This is an individual decision, but the science is out there now." Noted that the league/teams have plenty of resources for players to talk to.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) June 15, 2021
J.C. Tretter said he doesn't like the framing that the league is incentivizing players with looser protocols to get vaccinated. Said the reality is they're just following the science as they always have. Tretter volunteered that he's been vaccinated.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) June 15, 2021