BOSTON (CBS) — With NFL training camps set to open over the next week, the league is letting teams know that it will not extend the season to accommodate any COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players.
In a memo sent to teams on Thursday (read the full memo here), the NFL made it clear that if an outbreak among unvaccinated players leads to a game being canceled, the infected team will suffer the consequences. That includes forfeiting games (and taking losses in the playoff seedings), financial penalties, and other possible sanctions from the league if protocols are violated.READ MORE: Red Sox Will Try Kyle Schwarber At First Base
Should a game be canceled because of unvaccinated players, then players on both teams would not get paid. The team responsible for a cancellation would also be responsible for the financial losses.
“If a game is cancelled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a Covid spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the Covid infection,” the memo read. “We will seek to minimize the burden on the opposing club or clubs. If a club cannot play due to a Covid spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams.”READ MORE: NBA Honors Terrence Clarke, Draft Prospect From Boston Who Died In April
The NFL fully intends to play its entire 17-game schedule over 18 weeks, and does not anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled over those 18 weeks, it said in Thursday’s memo.
Should vaccinated players or coaches test positive and remain asymptomatic, they can return to work after two negative tests over 24 hours. Unvaccinated individuals are still subject to the mandatory 10-day isolation period.MORE NEWS: Celtics Pick 18-Year-Old French Pro Juhann Begarin In Second Round Of NBA Draft
Basically, the NFL is telling players and teams to get vaccinated, or pay the price.