Chris Ballard: More Colts players have been getting vaccinated

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The Indianapolis Colts were among the teams with low vaccination rates in the NFL when a report came out during June, but it seems they may have increased their numbers a bit in recent weeks.

Potentially due to the protocols the NFL has put in place for vaccinated and unvaccinated, general manager Chris Ballard told Bob Kravitz of The Athletic that they have had more players get vaccinated in the last two weeks.

“We know where we are (in terms of vaccination numbers), but we’ve had more guys get vaccinated in the last two weeks; I don’t know the exact numbers,” said Ballard. “But like anything else, it’s something we’ve got to deal with. We did it last year.”

Neither the NFL or the Colts have mandated the vaccine, leaving the decision up to the players to weigh the pros and cons of getting it. Though they have a low rate relative to other teams, having leaders like DeForest Buckner vaccinated may help convince others to follow suit.

While the Colts aren’t mandating the vaccine, they are encouraging it. They’ve seen what can happen when a key player misses a game due to COVID-19, but they are still leaving the decision up to the players.

“Now, do I think our guys should be vaccinating? Yes, absolutely. But we’re not going to force people. Encourage it? Absolutely. Absolutely. I think it’s the right thing to do for our club and our country, but it’s an individual decision to make,” Ballard said. “You talk about hesitancy, well, it’s not like our country is running out to get it, either, so it’s not just the NFL.”

It will be interesting to see what the numbers look like (if they even get released) by the time the season rolls around but if the numbers continue to be lower, this could be a storyline to watch throughout the season.

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