Falcons say they are NFL’s first 100% vaccinated team
By Emmanuel Morgan
The Atlanta Falcons announced earlier this week that the team’s players are all vaccinated against the coronavirus, becoming the first NFL team to reach 100%. Achieving that threshold means that all players on the roster now enjoy more freedom and are not subject to certain restrictions.
Because all Falcons players are vaccinated, everyone on the team may eat together, work out in the same weight room and not be subjected to daily testing. Close contacts of an individual who tests positive will not need to quarantine. The Falcons said on Monday that the team’s coaches are all vaccinated as well.
As of Tuesday, 91.7% of all NFL players were vaccinated, according to a league spokesman.
In July, the NFL essentially mandated that players receive the vaccine, saying that those who refuse would face steep possible penalties, like loss of paychecks and game forfeitures if it were proven that an unvaccinated person caused an outbreak that forced a game to be rescheduled. The NFL and the NFL Players Association have also relaxed virus-related protocols, like wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, for vaccinated individuals.
The news comes as the regular season approaches and more teams mull vaccination requirements for fans who attend their home games. The New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders were the first clubs to require that fans show proof of having received at least one dose of vaccine before entering their stadiums. At Saints games, unvaccinated fans may also enter if they show a recent negative test result.