Last season, covid forced the NFL to play situations by ear.
The Steelers saw their bye shuffled from Week 8 to Week 4. They hosted a Wednesday afternoon game Dec. 2 vs. Baltimore. That contest was delayed three times.
This season, with a covid vaccine readily available, the NFL won’t be messing around.
If an NFL game has to be cancelled because of a covid outbreak and can’t be rescheduled, the team responsible for the cancellation forfeits. Neither team gets paid.
But it’s also exactly as it should be.
Personal choice is fine, but a multibillion-dollar business can’t be expected to suffer because of it. Not when there’s a vaccination to be easily had.
The personal-choice crowd has its knickers in a twist. But there is still a choice. Getting vaccinated is not required. It can’t be. It’s not in the CBA. The union would take issue.
But the NFL has every right to govern its workplace and strongly encourage vaccination.
There’s no wiggle room this season. There’s no extra week. The NFL, team owners and the league’s broadcast partners are out millions of dollars if a game gets cancelled. Some of that should trickle down to the players, because they caused the cancellation.
The Steelers lead the NFL in vaccinations. They play Buffalo Week 1. WR Cole Beasley won’t get vaccinated. QB Josh Allen probably hasn’t.
Maybe covid gets the Steelers a win.