Dan Campbell: More than 80% of Lions roster vaccinated for COVID-19
Allen Park — A week after the NFL announced in a memo there would be no game postponements due to the COVID-19 virus, the Detroit Lions are making positive progress with player vaccinations.
According to coach Dan Campbell, more than 80% of the roster has been vaccinated ahead of the start of training camp.
That figure is slightly ahead of last week's league average. The NFL last week said 80% of players have started the vaccination process and that 27 of 32 teams had at least 70% of players either receive one vaccination shot or both.
"I would say we're getting more as we go every day," Campbell said Wednesday. "Every day that we've had our guys come in from the first group and to the vets who came in yesterday, every day we get a few more. It's trending the right way. It's been really good."
Running back D'Andre Swift acknowledged he got vaccinated after the league previously announced nonvaccinated players would be subject to more rigorous testing, even during the offseason.
"It influenced it a lot," Swift said. "I don't live close to (Philadelphia), so having to come in every day, off days or not, coming in to get tested just to go back home, I felt like a vaccination was more beneficial for me."
According to the more recent league memo sent to all 32 teams, an outbreak among nonvaccinated players could lead to forfeits with players on both teams not getting paid.
Last season, the league played a full slate without a cancellation amid the pandemic, but reshuffled schedules and bye weeks to make it work. That won't be the case this season, as the NFL informed clubs it won't extend the season or reschedule contests if a game is canceled because a team has too many unvaccinated players unavailable due to COVID-19.
"Every club is obligated under the Constitution and Bylaws to have its team ready to play at the scheduled time and place. A failure to do so is deemed conduct detrimental. There is no right to postpone a game," the memo reads.
While the NFL cannot mandate player vaccinations, the memo indicates the league is taking a more aggressive stance than it did last season and is putting pressure on teams to convince their players to get vaccinated.
"We've worked with the league, the NFLPA. The players have been great," Campbell said. "We all know what's going on with the rules as it pertains to vaccinations and the players have been outstanding and then us as a staff working with them. We're ready. We're ready for practice, ready to move on, so we're good. We're ready for Day 1."