NFL teams could be forced to forfeit if COVID-19 outbreak occurs among unvaccinated players
NFL: Teams could forfeit if unvaccinated players spark outbreaks
The Jaguars have yet to meet having 85% of their players fully vaccinated with training camp set to open next week.
If the Jaguars don't get to the 85% percent threshold, it could have potential consequences during the regular season.
On Friday, the day after the NFL issued a memo that franchises could face forfeits for COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players, the Jaguars announced second-year cornerbacks CJ Henderson, Luq Barcoo and reserve quarterback Jake Luton landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
It's not known if the three players are unvaccinated or fully vaccinated. A player is placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list if they either test positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons.
If unvaccinated players test positive, they are required to go through a 10-day isolation period and only can return when not showing any signs of having COVID-19 symptoms.
If a vaccinated player tests positive and is asymptomatic, he can return after two negative tests within 24 hours apart.
Last month Jaguars outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson was forced to miss the team's two-day mandatory minicamp after testing positive for COVID.
In a memo sent to teams on Thursday by the league, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league doesn't anticipate adding an extra week to the season to accommodate games that can't be rescheduled within the 18th-week regular season.
''If a game can't be rescheduled and is canceled due to a COVID outbreak among non vaccinated players on of the competing teams, the teams with the outbreak will forfeit and will be deemed to have played 16 games for the purposes of the draft, waiver priority, etc.,'' Goodell stated in the memo.
Players on both teams will not be paid for a lost contest due to COVID, and the team responsible for the canceled game due to unvaccinated players will be required to cover financial losses and be subject to potential additional discipline from the league.
A league source familiar with the situation said last week the Jaguars were not among the teams that have met the 85 percent threshold.
As of Thursday, 78% of players league-wide had received at least one vaccine, a league spokesperson told USA TODAY Sports. And 14 teams have at least 85% of their players fully vaccinated that increased from seven two weeks ago.
Fully vaccinated players will not be required to wear masks or undergo daily testing. Unvaccinated players, however, won't be allowed to enter the team's facility for the first three days of camp to undergo COVID-19 testing.
If unvaccinated players come back with three negative COVID-19 tests on successive days, they can enter the facility on Day 4 but are restricted from participating in any group activities with their teammates.
Fully vaccinated players and coaches will be required to undergo COVID-19 tests once every 14 days. If they come back with a positive test, they will immediately be administered a second test and sent home to isolate while awaiting the results of the test. If a player remains asymptomatic (showing no symptoms), they can return to the facility once two consecutive tests come back negative over a 24-hour period.
The Jaguars announced Wednesday they will have six open practices for fans starting next Thursday. The Jaguars rookies reported for training camp earlier this week and the veterans are scheduled to report this upcoming Tuesday. The first scheduled practice is set for Wednesday. The Jaguars' first practice is Aug. 3.
Due to the NFL’s health and safety protocols, interactions between players and fans, including autographs, will not be permitted this year. The NFL also is recommending that non-vaccinated individuals wear a face covering while attending practice.
LBs Jacobs, Moses placed on active/PUP list
The Jaguars placed linebackers Leon Jacobs and Dylan Moses on the active/ physically unable to perform list. Moses, signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent, turned down a chance to return to Alabama for a sixth season and instead declared for the 2021 draft in January. In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Moses made 192 tackles with six sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.
He missed the entire 2019 due to a torn ACL and played last season despite not being fully recovered from surgery.