Bill Belichick told reporters a high number of Patriots players had gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Quite a few of them, most of them probably,” Belichick answered, when asked specifically about the percentage of Patriots who were vaccinated, “but whatever the protocols are, we’ll follow them. Those are individual decisions. There are categories for everybody. So, whatever they fit, they fit.”
During training camp and beyond, vaccinated players will be wearing one color wrist band, while non-vaccinated players will wear another color, per league mandate.
“It’s required to differentiate them,” said Belichick.
With the league coming down strong on the issue, saying games wouldn’t be rescheduled for COVID-19 outbreaks, that teams would have to forfeit and players not receive game checks, it’s caused some consternation within the ranks.
Was Belichick wary of the issue splitting the team?
“A lot of those things are out of our control,” said Belichick. “We’ll deal with the things we can control and go from there.”
The NFL Network recently reported that more than 78 percent of players league-wide have had at least one shot, and 14 clubs have at least 85 percent of players vaccinated. Moreover, all 32 teams have at least a 50 percent vaccination rate among players.
Belichick also confirmed that Carmen Bricillo would be the offensive line coach. This comes in wake of Cole Popovich’s departure due to COVID vaccine-related issues.
Belichick, however, wouldn’t go into any detail about the league’s protocols, saying “it is what it is.”
Story by Karen Guregian, Boston Herald