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How NFL’s memo on COVID-19 outbreaks, forfeits impacts Bengals

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Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor turned heads in June by ending team minicamp early.

At the time, star safety Jessie Bates hinted it had to do with the team boasting a high vaccination rate in line with the rest of the league.

That’s probably a good thing in hindsight too considering what the NFL announced this Thursday, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:

“The NFL just informed clubs that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will FORFEIT and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding, per sources.”

In short, the league wants its players vaccinated, or at the very least, won’t re-schedule games if an unvaccinated team has an outbreak. The NFL will attempt to work out outbreaks suffered by teams with high vaccination rates. Based on the details collectively bargained last year too, players won’t get paid for canceled games.

Barring something unexpected, it appears Taylor and the Bengals were well ahead of this sort of announcement and are in good standing going into the season.

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