With the 2021-22 NFL season getting underway this past Thursday, and continuing on Sunday, they are taking a lot of measures to ensure the safety of the league’s players, staff, and fans. In an article written by Chase Goodbread on August 26 of this year, he showcased the new vaccination numbers and statistics for the league.
He begins by stating that the NFL is now at a 93% vaccination rate from its players and 99% from staff members, which he learned from the NFL’s chief medical officer Allen Sills. After over 7,000 tests were administered only 68 tests came back positive. Also, to point to the effectiveness of the vaccine, only 0.3% of vaccinated players tested positive while 2.2% of positive tests were from those without a vaccine. Allen Sills is a very credible source because after all, he is the lead medical officer who represents the NFL and discusses these issues with media. He’s had this position since March of 2017 and in fact, he was the NFL’s first chief medical officer. He graduated from Mississippi State University with an engineering degree but also got a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University of Medicine where he became a neurosurgeon and still serves as a professor at Vanderbilt University. During the pandemic he has coordinated with the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) and the CDC, as well as having prior experience in sports medicine with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
The NFL themselves have tried to alter their guidelines in order to encourage vaccines among players such as weekly tests rather than daily tests, compared to unvaccinated players getting tested daily including off days before being allowed to enter any facilities or interact with any other players. While many players have publicly stated their discontent with the NFL, many more have been encouraged to get vaccinated and protect those around them and ensure that this NFL season will go uninterrupted.
As for Chase Goodbread, he has been writing on sports for decades. He started out as a high school football writer in Florida and has seen many future NFL stars and Hall of Famers come up through high school, to the NCAA, to the NFL. Prior to joining NFL Media, he covered Alabama University football for the Tuscaloosa News and Tidesports.com. He is a very established and credible writer who has covered every level of football, gains credible sources such as Allen Sills, and provides links to his outside sources such as CDC data.