The NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Stills, informed clubs back in May that if their coaching staff does not get their first COVID-19 vaccine shots by June 7, they are set to lose their Tier 1 status with their respective teams, meaning they will have heavy restrictions in how they will be able to interact with their own players. Specifically, non-vaccinated coaches will not be allowed to be on the practice field, in meeting rooms, and they cannot have any face-to-face interactions with players.
For the Detroit Lions, that will be a non-issue. According to head coach Dan Campbell, the entire coaching staff has received the vaccination, although two members are still in the 14-day period after receiving the vaccination in which they may not be fully vaccinated yet. (Per Dave Birkett, those two coaches are Duce Staley and Antwaan Randle El).
“Everybody is vaccinated,” Campbell told the media on Thursday. “The ones that have masks, they have gotten fully vaccinated, but it’s a 14-day period until they can not wear the masks.”
The NFL is encouraging players and coaches throughout the league to receive the vaccine, though there is still a considerable amount of pushback. Despite the Washington Football Team bringing in an immunologist, defensive lineman Montez Sweat spoke against getting the vaccine this week.
“I probably won’t get vaccinated until I got more facts and that type of stuff, but I’m not a fan of it at all,” Sweat said.
It’s unclear what percentage of the entire player population has received the vaccination (for Washington, that number is around 50 percent), but those that have not will face different protocols than the rest of the players, including daily testing, mask wearing, and heavy travel restrictions.
Earlier this offseason, Lions left tackle Taylor Decker said he will not be getting vaccinated.
“I did not get vaccinated and I’m not going to,” Decker said in April. “I’m just not going to speak to the reasons why. I have my reasons. I don’t know, that’s such a hot button topic, but me personally, I just don’t feel like it’s the best thing for me so I’m not going to do it.”