BOSTON (CBS) — Vaccination rates throughout the NFL figure to be the number one story line around the league as teams open training camp and begin their work toward the regular season.
While some teams have been open about their vaccination rates, others have kept the information private.READ MORE: Revs Beat Orlando City 2-1, Extend Unbeaten Streak
On Tuesday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t volunteer any specific numbers with regard to the percentage of Patriots players who have received their COVID-19 vaccinations. He did, however, present a positive picture with regard to the team’s numbers.
“I don’t know. Quite a few of them — most of them, probably,” Belichick said when asked if he knew the percentage of Patriots players who have received the vaccine. “Whatever the protocols are, we’ll follow them.”
Belichick noted that “those are individual decisions” and that “there are categories for everybody.”READ MORE: Stanton's Slam Lifts Yanks To 5-3 Win, WC Tie With Red Sox
“So wherever they fit, they fit,” Belichick said.
The NFL’s COVID protocols relax significantly for teams with 85 percent vaccination rates or better. Teams above that threshold take fewer COVID tests, have more opportunities for indoor meetings, can eat meals together, and carry on in a somewhat normal fashion. Though the relaxation of those team rules does not apply to players who choose to not receive the vaccine, the benefits for the team as a whole are significant.
As for the departure of offensive line coach Cole Popovich last week — reportedly a vaccine-related move — Belichick stated in his opening remarks that he did not plan to discuss that situation.MORE NEWS: Boston College Beats Mizzou 41-34 In OT
“From a staff standpoint, [Carmen Bricillo] will be coaching the offensive line,” Belichick said. “Again, that really … these are all things that play off the protocols from the league and so forth. So I’m not gonna get into that any further. It is what it is. Really just from this point on, focused on football and trying to get our team ready to go, trying to get our staff ready to go, including myself. And we all have a long way to go.”