A new report suggests that as a crucial deadline approaches, a few NFL teams are having problems getting the entirety of their coaching staff to receive one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that "assistant coaches from at least four NFL teams are refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine."
The league cannot force coaches to take the vaccine if they don't want to, but they can - and seemingly will - attempt to make it much harder for those that are unvaccinated to continue doing their jobs.
Pelissero reports that if said coaches do not either receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by the end of next week, they would lose their Tier 1 status. Tier 1 status grants coaches the ability to coach from the field and be in meeting rooms with their players, among other things. Clearly then, any coach who doesn't get vaccinated would be putting his team at a tremendous disadvantage.
Players, Pelissero would go on to note, are not held to the same standard. That's perhaps unfair - and also a threat to everyone's safety - but coaches are much more replaceable than players. The only out for coaches is "if they provide a valid medical or religious reason."
This chart below offers a look at the soon-to-be-in-effect rules: