Urban Meyer Says Vaccination Status Was Considered During Jaguars' Final Cuts

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 31, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer watches play against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer told reporters Tuesday that players' COVID-19 vaccination statuses were considered when the team was making cuts down to its 53-man roster.

"Everyone was considered," Meyer said, per ESPN's Michael DiRocco. "That was part of the [considerations, such as] production, let's start talking about this and also is he vaccinated or not? Can I say that that was a decision-maker? It was certainly in consideration." 

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The NFLPA will open an investigation into Urban Meyer's comments that players' vaccination status was considered in the Jaguars' roster decisions. The NFLPA's <a href="https://twitter.com/GeorgeAtallah?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GeorgeAtallah</a> said: "This is a concern and we are going to look into it."

As DiRocco noted, there is a stark difference in the return protocols for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated players, with the latter group at risk of being out for longer.

Of note, unvaccinated players who test positive will miss at least 10 days before undergoing a three-day return-to-play protocol. Vaccinated players can return before the 10-day period if they receive two negative PCR test results separated by 24 hours.

Per DiRocco, Meyer said the team tried to educate players on the vaccine and encouraged them to receive it but that they could choose whether to get it.

Jacksonville announced its 53-man roster Tuesday, and Meyer spoke to the media. The 57-year-old is in his first season running an NFL team. He spent 17 seasons as a college head coach, which included three national championships.

The Jaguars will open the season Sept. 12 at the Houston Texans.