NFL Says Teams Who Can’t Play Due To COVID Outbreaks May Have To Forfeit Games

By Adam Roberts – 7/22/2021

Big news was dropped this afternoon from the NFL in regards to games this season that may be impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the league informed clubs today that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding. This marks a notable change in policy from last season, when all attempts possible were made to reschedule games, and also marks another hard stance the league is taking against unvaccinated players and coaches.

On top of a possible forfeit, Pelissero reports the team responsible for a canceled game because of an outbreak among unvaccinated players/staff will be responsible for financial losses and subject to potential discipline from commissioner Roger Goodell. And then there’s potential the biggest tidbit of the whole release: if a game is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled within the current 18-week schedule due to a COVID outbreak, neither team’s players will receive their weekly paragraph 5 salary. No. Pay.

At Big Ten media day earlier, the conference did not specify what their policy would be as far as possible COVID cancellations.