Following Urban Meyer’s Tuesday admission that player vaccination status factored into the team’s roster decisions, the Jacksonville Jaguars released a statement in an attempt to clarify the coach’s comments.
“Availability is one of the many factors taken into account when making roster decisions,” the statement read. “We have vaccinated and unvaccinated players on our roster, and no player was released because of their vaccination status. Ultimately, decisions are based on a player’s ability to help the Jaguars win. We educate our players and respect personal decisions as it pertains to the vaccine. We want to keep our players, staff and families safe as we comply with protocols related to both health and safety and competition on game days.”
When asked if vaccination status was a factor in the team’s roster decisions on Tuesday, Meyer responded: “Everyone was considered. That was part of the 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.”
The comment led the NFL Players Association to launch an investigation into the matter.
The NFL hasn’t mandated COVID-19 vaccines, but strict protocols for players who aren’t fully vaccinated can cause players to miss time.
Meyer noted that defensive end Josh Allen missed one week because of protocols. Allen, who is not vaccinated, was activated from the COVID-19 list Monday.
“Well, Josh Allen’s never had (COVID),” Meyer said. “He’s not played in two weeks. So he’s never had COVID. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, but he’s never had COVID. So that’s pretty punitive.”
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