tweet this Content by Twitter, Facebook; Reddit or other Networks, thanks!
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league’s intent remains to have full stadiums this fall.
“We do think it will be a much more normal experience,” he said on a media conference call Wednesday. “We do expect full stadiums and it’s very possible some people, particularly those not vaccinated, may need to have masks on. Those are things we’ll be following closely.”
The league said every team but the Broncos and Indianapolis have received approval to have full stadiums. The Broncos expect to have a full Mile High Stadium.
Goodell said 30 of the 32 teams have at least 90% of their employees in Tiers 1 and 2 vaccinated and that includes coaches, trainers and equipment staff who have daily interaction with players. The two remaining teams are at 85%.
Players are not mandated to be vaccinated.
“We do think that players and all personnel are safer if they’re vaccinated,” Goodell said. “That’s true throughout our country and our world. I don’t know of a single medical source that doesn’t believe the vaccine is effective, but also safe.
“Our approach with the union has been to work on education and second, make sure we’re having protocols to incentivize getting the vaccine.”
The league has established protocols for vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated individuals.
Fully vaccinated: No daily testing, no mask requirement at club facility, no quarantine after exposure to a person who has tested positive, no travel restrictions, can eat in team cafeteria, no weight-room capacity limits, use of sauna/steam room and are permitted to interact with vaccinated family and friends during travel.
A non-fully vaccinated player will have none of those perks and is still subject to daily testing.
Uniform camp opening. The NFL said 29 teams, including the Broncos, will all open training camp on July 27 — 47 days before the Sept. 12 season opener as allowed by the collective bargaining agreement.
Dallas and Pittsburgh can open earlier because they are playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.
The league is also circling July 31 as a league-wide day for fan events at camp.
Cut-down dates. Per NFL Network, team owners approved the new roster cut-down dates.
Aug. 17: From 90 to 85 players. The Broncos play at Minnesota on Aug. 13 or 14.
Aug. 24: From 85 to 80 players. The Broncos play at Seattle on Aug. 21 (8 p.m.).
Aug. 31: From 80 to 53 players. The Broncos host the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 28 (7:05 p.m.).
In 2019, there was only one cut-down date (two days after the preseason finale) to get from 90 to 53. Last year, the roster was limited to 80 players and it was cut to 53 on Labor Day Weekend.
The new schedule gives teams an extra day to get to 53 players.