NFLPA objects to Urban Meyer using vaccination status to consider roster cuts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer drew the ire of the NFL Players Association with his admission that a player’s vaccination status was considered in making final roster cuts.

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Meyer said Tuesday that he and general manager Trent Baalke decided that a player’s vaccination status was weighed because of the more stringent COVID-19 protocols imposed on unvaccinated players who test positive or are identified as high-risk close contacts, ESPN reported.

“Everyone was considered,” Meyer told reporters on Tuesday. “That was part of the production, let’s start talking about this, and then also is he vaccinated or not. Can I say that that was a decision-maker? It was certainly in consideration.”

“These comments have led us to open an investigation,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told ESPN and Pro Football Talk.

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said earlier this year that he would cut an unvaccinated player if it led to a “normal” postseason, Pro Football Talk reported. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith criticized the comment, and the NFL spoke with Beane about his comments, the website reported.

The NFL emphasized in May that there is a rule that prohibits teams from trimming a player from the roster because of his vaccination status, ESPN reported.

Meyer said vaccination status was one of the things considered in making roster moves, not the sole reason, according to ESPN.

Unvaccinated players who test positive must miss 10 days, the sports network reported. Then there is a three-day period where players have to follow return-to-play guidelines before they can be placed on the active roster.

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