The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting ready to defend their Super Bowl title as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. One of the big stories this offseason was players, specifically quarterbacks, getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians spoke to reporters on Thursday and revealed the players are “100% vaccinated,” which means Tom Brady did get the vaccine despite not being named.
Brady hasn’t spoken on the vaccine publicly. His teammate, running back Leonard Fournette, did speak to reporters about getting vaccinated and said he had a change of heart after learning what it can do in the long run. “You can still catch it, but it makes it a lot better to have the shot,” Fournette said, per PEOPLE. “We need every hand in here in these next couple of games coming up … Just trying to be the best teammate I could be … Trying to be the bigger person and get it over with.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians: “We’re 100% vaccinated, our entire organization, all the players, all the coaches.” pic.twitter.com/YN4BDN6U17
— The Recount (@therecount) September 2, 2021
Another superstar quarterback who received the vaccine is Aaron Rodgers. He talked about getting vaccinated last month while also mentioning he won’t judge his teammates who don’t get the shot. “It’s a personal decision. It’s an interesting issue,” Rodgers said.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is one of the few players who have been very outspoken about the vaccine. “I think the vaccination decision is a private health matter for me, and I’m going to keep it as such,” Cousins said in August, per NFL.com. “I do believe that as a leader of the team it’s very important to follow the protocols to avoid this close contact because that is what it’s going to come down to. Did you have a close contact? So I’m going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact.”
In July, the NFL sent a memo to teams about COVID-19 outbreaks. “If a game is canceled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a Covid spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the Covid infection,” the memo states, per NFL.com. “We will seek to minimize the burden on the opposing club or clubs. If a club cannot play due to a Covid spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams.”