Two NFL teams remain under 50% vaccinated less than two weeks from the start of training camp, a person familiar with the vaccination rates told The Associated Press.
As of Friday, Washington and Indianapolis had the two lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates among the 32 teams in the league, according to the person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league hasn't released the numbers, which are changing daily.
Teams on the lower end of the vaccination table face potential competitive disadvantages.
The NFL doesn't plan to cancel any games this season, the person told the Associated Press.
In a memo sent to clubs last week and obtained by the AP on Thursday, the NFL, in conjunction with the NFLPA, updated protocols to allow teams traveling to joint practices to have their daily maximum of Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals. [Tier 1 comprises players, coaches, trainers and others who need direct access to the players, and Tier 2 includes GMs, operational staff and others who might need to be near players.]
The traveling party will be either 100 or 140, depending on the club's vaccination percentage. The club must limit the number of individuals traveling on the team transportation to 85 but may bring additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 staff up to the applicable daily tier limits separately to attend the practice.
Also, beginning at the start of training camp, teams will be required to develop a method to visually identify fully vaccinated Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals.
Using color-coded wristbands or credentials is recommended, but clubs are free to implement other methods.
Last month, the NFL and the players' union updated protocols to loosen restrictions for fully vaccinated players and to encourage others to get the vaccine.
Unvaccinated players must continue to get daily testing, wear masks and practice physical distancing. They won't be allowed to eat meals with teammates, can't participate in media or marketing activities while traveling, aren't permitted to use the sauna or steam room, and may not leave the team hotel or interact with people outside the team while traveling. Vaccinated players will not have any of those restrictions.