The NFL’s rules for vaccinated players are drastically different than for players who are unvaccinated, giving teams plenty of incentive to encourage personnel to have a COVID-19 shot.
But Patriots coach Bill Belichick won’t reveal how much of his roster has been inoculated.
“It’s really being handled by the medical board now,” he said Friday prior to the team’s practice at Gillette Stadium. “We’ve got quite a few guys, I couldn’t really give you a percentage or whatever but the number’s increasing.”
Belichick noted that the protocols have been changing quickly, so the Patriots will “be compliant with it and worth through it” as it happens.
If a player is fully vaccinated, he does not have to: do daily testing; wear a mask at a team facility; quarantine after being exposed to a COVID-positive individual; adhere to travel restrictions; or adhere to capacity limits in the weight room. They also can eat in the cafeteria, use the sauna or steam room, and interact with vaccinated family and friends during travel.
Conversely, non-vaccinated players are subject to the opposite: They must do daily testing, wear a mask, quarantine, and avoid family members while traveling.
Plus, not getting vaccinated could put a player’s roster spot at risk.
Other notes from Belichick’s press conference:
· Belichick watched the Bruins’ Game 3 win on Thursday night. He wore a Bruins hat to his video call Friday, and offered a “Go Bs” after complimenting coach Bruce Cassidy and the team’s style of play.
· With the Premier Lacrosse League kicking off its season at Gillette on Friday, Belichick said he’s gotten a “good fix” of lacrosse. He also shouted out coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein and the Boston College women’s lacrosse team, which beat Syracuse to win its first national title last week: “I’m proud of what they’ve done, not just this year but the program she’s built there.”
· Belichick is glad to see his friend Brad Stevens in the role of Celtics president of basketball operations: “I have a ton of respect for Brad. He’s a good friend and a great person. I think he’s certainly added a lot to the Celtics and sports in Boston, and personally as a friend, he’s helped me as well in our conversations and in the time we spend together. I’m sure, whatever the setup is over there, he’ll enhance it.”