At the beginning of the season, Roger Goodell made it known that the NFL would not tolerate cancellations or postponements due to COVID in the 2021 season. While the vaccine isn’t required, the memo informed players penalties would be less severe for vaccinated players that develop COVID during the season. Fines were also cited as punishment for players and teams who cause a schedule shift, which is why the vaccine was heavily encouraged for athletes and staff. However, 9 Tennessee Titans players have been diagnosed with COVID, and the season is just getting started.
Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, is one of the 9 athletes who have been placed on the teams COVID list. Tannehill voiced that he was reluctant to get vaccinated, but the NFL was pressuring players into getting vaccinated which he ultimately gave in to. Tannehill is now fully vaccinated, which will aid in a lighter punishment, if any, results from the preseason positive tests. Tannehill will need to provide two negative tests in order to return to play, which could keep him out anywhere between 5 and 10 days.
NFL Means Business
While we’re on the topic of the NFL’s 2021 COVID protocols, the Buffalo Bills are also feeling the repercussions from the intense rules set in place this season. Both Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley were fined for not wearing a mask. Both informed the public of this fine via social media, and McKenzie also shared that his mask violation cost him $14,650. Like the Titans, the Bills are also currently trying to get a grip on multiple players and staff members who have tested positive.
The NFL’s hefty fine for mask violations to both players shows the rest of the league that they mean business, which may in turn help teams get a grip on positive tests and players disregarding protocol.
NIL Dreams Come True
Much of the recent NIL discussion has revolved around the NCAA’s best and biggest names in college sports. However, ‘Walk-On Sports Bistreaux’ is working to change the narrative. On wednesday, Purdue Softball player, Emilee Cox, was given this award by none other than Drew Brees. The retired Saint Quarterback has become a Co-Owner in the restaurant chain, and has begun partnering to offer NIL deals to walk-on players. Bistreaux prides themselves on giving the ‘underdog’ a platform to tell their story.