Urban Meyer made the mistake of saying the quiet part out loud when he said that the Jacksonville Jags factored a player’s vaccination status as they cut the roster down this week. He is now being investigated by the NFLPA.
“Everyone was considered,” Meyer said. “That was part of the [considerations such as] production, let’s start talking about this, and also is he vaccinated or not? Can I say that that was a decision maker? It was certainly in consideration.”
Following Meyer’s comments, NFL insider Albert Breer shared a story from an anonymous general manager from earlier in camp who said the same thing, but even worse
“On cutdown day, figured this’d be a valuable story,” Breer said on Twitter. “Was w/a GM during camp. He showed me how, on his free-agent board, unvaccinated guys were marked, then said, ‘Those guys might as well not even be up there.’ Reality: Tough sledding ahead for unemployed unvaccinated players.”
According to a report from NFL insider Mark Maske, the NFLPA’s George Atallah said Meyer’s comments are “a concern and we are going to look into it.”
The unnamed GM won’t have the same problem, since Breer wouldn’t dare out the person and it would have to be proven anyway.
The NFL reiterated in May that there is a rule that prohibits teams from cutting players because of their vaccination status, which came on the heels of Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane’s comments saying he would cut an unvaccinated player to get the team closer to herd immunity “because it’d be an advantage” for a team to have a normal offseason experience.
An unvaccinated player who tests positive or is classified as a high-risk close contact would miss significantly more time than a vaccinated player.
Vaccinated players are tested weekly, and those who test positive are required to be out for 10 days or can return sooner once they receive two negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests separated by 24 hours.