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Jaguars walk back coach Urban Meyer's claim that team weighed COVID-19 vaccination status during roster cuts

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The Jacksonville Jaguars began Wednesday morning walking back new head coach Urban Meyer's latest ill-considered statements.

A day after Meyer said players' COVID-19 vaccination status factored into the team's decisions as it pared its roster down to 53, the team issued a statement contradicting Meyer.

"Availability is one of the many factors taken into account when making roster decisions," read the statement. "We have vaccinated and unvaccinated players on our roster, and no player was released because of their vaccination status.

"Ultimately, decisions are based on a player’s ability to help the Jaguars win. We educate our players and respect personal decisions as it pertains to the vaccine. We want to keep our players, staff and families safe as we comply with protocols related to both health and safety and competition on game days."

Less than 24 hours earlier, Meyer sang a distinctly different tune.

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

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The NFL Players Association is investigating the Jags given vaccination status is not supposed to affect employment, and – unlike Major League Baseball, for example – individual teams cannot mandate their players get vaccine shots.

Two weeks ago, the Jaguars confirmed they had an 84% vaccination rate. Monday, they activated pass rusher Josh Allen, a first-round pick in 2019 who is not inoculated, from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Contributing: John Reid, The Florida Times-Union

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Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jaguars walk back Meyer's claim on COVID-19 vaccine impact on cuts