The NFL is requiring players and other key personnel to receive a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the league mandate to be fully vaccinated, according to a league memo.
Multiple outlets released the contents of the memo, which coincided with a noticeable uptick in reported positive tests around the league.
“On November 29, the CDC issued a study showing that the effectiveness of the approved COVID-19 vaccines may decrease over time and has recommended that all eligible vaccinated individuals over the age of 18 should receive a booster shot,” the memo reads in part. “Given the increased prevalence of the virus in our communities, our experts have recommended that we implement the CDC’s recommendation.”
Tier 1 and 2 personnel who previously have been vaccinated must receive a booster shot by Dec. 27, giving them just two weeks to comply.
Tier 1 staff encompasses players, coaches and trainers. Tier 2 includes general managers and front office employees.
The mandate covers those who received the Pfizer or Moderna shot more than six months ago and those who received a Johnson and Johnson shot more than two months ago.
Thirty-six players were placed on the reserve/COVID list Monday, all of whom tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the NFL transaction wire. A 37th tested positive after the daily wire was published. ESPN reported that it was the highest single-day total of positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Los Angeles Rams placed two starters, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and tight end Tyler Higbee, on the reserve/COVID list Monday mere hours before their game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Washington Football Team announced defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, linebacker David Mayo, defensive end William Bradley-King and tight end Temarrick Hemingway were placed on the COVID list. That upped Washington’s total to nine players on the list — all defensive players, including edge rusher Montez Sweat. Allen and Sweat are starters.
NFL Network and The Washington Post also reported that a Tier 3 staffer in Washington tested positive for the Omicron variant of the virus, the first known occurrence of the new variant appearing in the league.
Kansas City Chiefs receiver Josh Gordon, New York Giants receiver Kadarius Toney, Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison and Los Angeles Chargers rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater also landed on the reserve/COVID list Monday.
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