Tom Pelissero of NFL Network dropped a significant tidbit about the NFL’s policy for teams with COVID outbreaks this season.
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.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 22, 2021
Forfeiting games is a huge deal, but it doesn’t stop there. It seems that the players’ checks will be affected too.
So to recap, if an outbreak of unvaccinated NFL players causes a game to be canceled:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 22, 2021
- Infected team forfeits, takes a loss for playoff seeding, faces financial penalties and possible additional sanctions if protocols violated
- Players on both teams don't get paid
While not paying the team that doesn’t take necessary precautions seems reasonable, why punish the opposing team? I know, they’re playing one less game than everyone else. However, they shouldn’t be punished for another organization’s shortcomings.
What will most likely happen IF there is an outbreak during the season is that both teams involved will lose their bye week and play then. That wouldn’t impact either team too deeply, it would just act as a rescheduled bye.
The NFL has gone from accommodating to enacting severe punishment for those ignoring their new rules.