(AUDACY) The NFL and NFL Players Association appear united on putting as much pressure on players to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the start of the 2021 season.
The sides have agreed that players who are fully vaccinated (and don't have unexcused absences in preseason training camp) who later miss games for COVID-19 will still get paid, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported in sharing a memo he obtain.
But the approach might be different for non-vaccinated players, as Florio noted the logical conclusion is that if a non-vaccinated player gets COVID-19 during the season, teams could attempt to withhold pay by saying that the player may have contracted the virus away from the field. The argument would be similar to a player who tears his ACL by playing basketball or doing something unrelated (and perhaps prohibited) to his contract as a football player.
Based on the NFL's new guidelines for training camp and the preseason, there will be checks in place to try to prevent unvaccinated players from acquiring COVID-19, with a similar setup presumably slated to be in place for the regular season.
The message from the NFL -- one that doesn't seem to be receiving much, if any, pushback from the NFLPA -- appears pretty simple: All you have to do is get vaccinated and work life will go back to something resembling normal.