Just a few weeks ago reports indicated that the Arizona Cardinals were among the least vaccinated teams in the NFL, now they join the top ranks.
Back on July 15, the Associated Press reported that the Arizona Cardinals were among the four least vaccinated NFL teams.
Not long after, the NFL announced that games would not be canceled this year for COVID-related issues. Teams can be forced to forfeit if games cannot be played because of COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players and players can be fined for violating COVID-19 protocols.
Shortly after these rules were announced by the league, star Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins posted on Twitter about his hesitancy to receive the vaccine.
In a now-deleted tweet, Hopkins said the following.
"“Never thought I would say this, But being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL.”"
After the social media firestorm that ensued from Hopkins’ original comments, it seems that Arizona has made serious headway in the push to reach full vaccination. Thursday morning, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Cardinals now have over 90 percent of their roster vaccinated.
Higher vaccination rates may provide competitive advantages in 2021 for the Arizona Cardinals
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently informed teams that virus outbreaks among unvaccinated players would lead to forfeitures if games could not be reasonably rescheduled, a serious move after multiple matchups were rescheduled in 2020 due to COVID-19. If a game cannot be played in 2021, players from both teams will not receive their game checks.
The new NFL rules include a long list of what vaccinated and unvaccinated players are allowed to do and include incentives along the way with reduced restrictions after team rosters reach 85 percent vaccination.
Arizona will now benefit from fewer restrictions and training camp is well underway. Hopefully, the team can avoid the bouts with the virus that they faced in 2020 when multiple players missed several weeks due to contracting COVID-19.