Bruce Arians is not taking any chances on unvaccinated players screwing up their season.
Hot on the heels of the NFL’s memo to teams about the consequences of outbreaks among unvaccinated players, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach now has his own punishing system to make sure his team doesn’t even get to the point of an outbreak.
Arians informed the Tampa Bay Times that the team will fine an unvaccinated player $14,000 every time they’re caught breaking NFL health and safety protocols. Fines will be assessed on the spot with no warnings for first time offenders.
“It’s just a matter of staying healthy,” Arians said to the Tampa Bay Times. “You’re not going to win with third stringers. I’ve been down that road. We had a really, really good team in Arizona. We lose (running back) David Johnson, we lose (quarterback) Carson Palmer, we lose our tackle. You can’t control injuries. If they happen, they happen.
“We were very fortunate last year, and our training staff and sports science staff was terrific, and that had a lot to do with injury prevention.”
With the vaccine widely available in the United States, the protocols are different for vaccinated players than they are for unvaccinated players. The leasgue has also not mandated that every player and coach take the vaccine, but they have made it harder for those people to go about their business with ease.
Unvaccinated players will have to get tested for COVID every day as well as wear masks at the club facility and during team travel. They have to continue practicing social distancing at the facility and even in the meal room. They cannot do any social media or sponsorship activities and they can’t leave the team hotel to eat at restaurants.
Vaccinated players have exactly zero of those restrictions.