NFL weighs vaccine mandate

The NFL announced on Thursday that the organization is still considering mandating vaccinations for all players.

The league’s Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills confirmed that about 93 percent of players in the league have been vaccinated voluntarily, leaving roughly 200 players unvaccinated.

"I feel we are in a much better place than we were last year at this time (because) we have a much more complete understanding of this virus and its transmission, and the testing and identification of it," Sills said on Thursday.

To address the remaining 7 percent of players, NFL general counsel Larry Ferazani said leadership is considering implementing a vaccine mandate.

“We still would love to see that mandate go into effect tomorrow,” Ferazani said. 

For a vaccine mandate to go into effect, the league would need approval from the NFL Players’ Association. While negotiations within NFL officials and Players’ Union leaders are ongoing, Ferazani said that the league also proposed that even vaccinated players be tested once a week instead of biweekly.

A vaccine mandate aims to help prevent outbreaks among teams and keep game schedules on track. In July, The Athletic reported that teams who suffer COVID-19 outbreaks among players and staff will be forced to forfeit their games if they can’t be rescheduled in the fall season's 18 weeks. 

The forfeit would result in a loss, which would affect the team’s playoff seedings.