The NFL has opted to loosen restrictions on meetings and practices for teams that are at least 85 percent vaccinated. Around the NFL’s Kevin Patra reported Friday that only 13 of the league’s 32 teams have reached the 85 percent threshold. Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin is disappointed in his Dallas Cowboys for not yet reaching that number.
“Dude, you’re not thinking right,” Irvin said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “Nothing else can be more important…And not being one of the [85 percent vaccinated teams] says there’s other things to a great number of people on this team that are more important than winning championships, and that makes me worried.”
Irvin, who won three Super Bowls in Dallas, called on the Cowboys’ leaders to encourage vaccination in the locker room. Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley voiced his disagreement on Twitter Monday.
That’s not what that means. You can be vaccinated and not do all the right things football wise to be at your best. All it means is players are gonna be out there with covid and we won’t know cause they only get tested once a week so the NFL can make their money. https://t.co/VukRFeeOp3
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) July 19, 2021
“That’s not what that means,” Beasley responded to Irvin’s remarks. “You can be vaccinated and not do all the right things football wise to be at your best. All it means is players are gonna be out there with covid and we won’t know cause they only get tested once a week so the NFL can make their money.”
While Beasley’s beliefs on the league’s motives are subjective, he’s wrong about the current regulations. The NFL mandates that vaccinated players get tested bi-weekly as opposed to weekly.
Needless to say, Irvin wasn’t implying that the COVID vaccine makes you a better football player. But non-vaccinated players are subject to daily testing and exclusion from certain in-person meetings, team meals, and more. Getting vaccinated, in addition to protecting those around you, can only help your team’s chances.