Though at some points headed into the 2020-2021 season, it seemed improbably that the NFL would be able to sustain a full season and ultimately play the Super Bowl, the league persevered, minus a few hitches.
With the 2021-22 season upon us, the league is sorting out new plans with the new challenges of expecting full capacity, vaccinating players and the new Delta strain of the virus outbreaking across the country.
Despite great attempts to have all players and coaches vaccinated by kickoff, the league only has 14 of its 32 teams with the suggested 85% of players vaccinated, with even players speaking out against the vaccine publicly.
As a result, the league office has issued a memo to it’s franchises that if a game an cannot be rescheduled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players — and that team will be forced to forfeit, resulting “in a loss for playoff seeding.”
The memo said the league intends to play all of its games within the scheduled 18-week period and a 19th week will not be added to the schedule under any circumstances — an idea that was floated in 2020 amid numerous outbreaks.
Additionally, if a game is canceled and cannot be rescheduled, neither team’s players will be paid for the game.
Vaccinated players who test positive can return to the team immediately after two negative tests, while unvaccinated players will be required to isolate for 10 days, according to the memo.