Falcons Are First NFL Team to Fully Tackle COVID-19 With Vaccinations

Players are strongly encouraged, but not required, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

The Atlanta Falcons are the first NFL team to reach 100% vaccinations with players. Pictured: An Atlanta Falcons helmet
100% of the Atlanta Falcons players are now vaccinated
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If the Atlanta Falcons come up short in the upcoming NFL season, it won’t be because of an outbreak of COVID-19 on the team.

The Falcons, who had five players on the reserve/COVID-19 list at the start of training camp and were one of two teams to have a COVID-19 outbreak this preseason, are fully vaccinated, the team told ESPN. It is believed Atlanta is the first NFL team to have 100% of its players — who are strongly encouraged but not required to receive the vaccine — fully vaccinated. Unlike players, all NFL coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers and scouts are required to get the jab.

Now that the team’s roster is fully protected against COVID-19, many restrictions which other clubs are still facing will be eliminated. “Each player will now enjoy the benefits of being able to work out and eat together,” per the team’s site. “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.”

In related news, the Raiders announced Monday that all fans will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend games at 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas this season. Since all fans in attendance will be vaccinated, wearing a mask at the stadium will not be required. The Raiders are the first team in the NFL to announce a vaccine/no mask policy.

“Health and safety has always been our number one priority,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “After consultation with Governor Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season.”

The new policy will take effect for the team’s regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football on September 13.

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