Atlanta Falcons are first NFL team to be fully vaccinated

Head coach Arthur Smith of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images)
Head coach Arthur Smith of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images) /

All Atlanta Falcon players are fully vaccinated 

With the regular season rapidly approaching the Atlanta Falcons are the first team in the league to have all their players fully vaccinated.

“The Falcons reached a 92-percent vaccination rate on July 23, and now have every player on the roster protected against COVID-19. Each player will now enjoy the benefits of being able to work out and eat together. They won’t have to test daily, won’t have to wear masks around the facility, and won’t have to quarantine following a close contact with someone who tests positive,” the Falcons said in a statement posted on their team website.

This news comes one month after the NFL sent a memo regarding COVID-19. The league notified teams they don’t plan on adding an extra week to the season. If an outbreak were to happen among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak would forfeit and would be given a loss.

Getting vaccinated is required for all coaches, front-office executives, scouts, and equipment managers but players aren’t. Although it wasn’t mandatory, unvaccinated players faced more restrictions during training camp and preseason.

Those restrictions included daily COVID-19 testing, travel restrictions, no social events, limited access to equipment, and mask-wearing throughout the facility. Unvaccinated players also weren’t allowed to eat with fellow teammates.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, all 32 teams in the league have at least 75 percent of their players vaccinated. 15 teams are over the 95 percent threshold, with another 10 teams above 90 percent.

NFL Network’s Judy Battista reported that 91.7 percent of league players are fully vaccinated.

With the NFL regular season kicking off on Sep. 9, the Atlanta Falcons won’t have to worry about forfeiting any games this year. They just have to focus on getting better each and every day. Every player being vaccinated is a victory for Arthur Smith’s ball club.