Yesterday, the NFL sent a very strongly worded memo to teams regarding their stance on vaccinations, and their desire to play every game. They also made it abundantly clear that if a game is unable to be rescheduled because of a COVID-19 breakout due to unvaccinated players or coaches, the teams will take a loss and players won’t get paid that gamecheck.
In response to this, the Minnesota Vikings and Rick Dennison, who was serving as offensive line/run game coordinator, have parted ways after he refused to get vaccinated.
And then – AND THEN — it happened a second time. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported that “Patriots’ co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich won’t be with the team in 2021 in a decision related to the COVID-19 vaccine and NFL Guidelines.”
Two coaches on the same day have either been relieved of their duties or mutually parted ways or however the hell you want to phrase it, but teams are clearly taking the memo seriously, and understanding that not having their players and coaches vaccinated now is a competitive disadvantage. As we move to trimming the rosters down from 90 to 53 heading into the season, this thought process could also prevail in those personnel decisions.
Meanwhile, Cole Beasley thinks he’s a god on the football field and he doesn’t care what anybody thinks. He’s a PR nightmare right now.
Mr. Beasley: You’re 32 years old with 5,016 receiving yards over nine seasons. You’ve had a fine career, but you are nowhere close to the best slot receiver in the game. Your production is absolutely replaceable, especially if your choices and conduct put your team at a competitive disadvantage. Go ahead and take a seat.
Teams will continue to analyze this situation as we draw closer to the regular season, which is only 48 days away. It’s not a stretch at all to believe that the vaccination status of a bottom-of-the-roster guy could determine whether he makes the team or gets cut.