Colts encourage vaccination, but leave final decision up to the players


INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 13: General manager Chris Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts addresses the media following a press conference introducing head coach Frank Reich at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 13, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – On Wednesday, the National Football League outlined a new set of COVID-19 restrictions in place for training camp and the preseason, wherein vaccinated players will be given far fewer rules to follow than players who chose to forego the vaccine.

Now teams are unveiling the new rules to their rosters.

“There’s no doubt (the topic of vaccinations) can be a little sticky, but we give our players the choice,” says Colts general manager Chris Ballard. “We’re not gonna mandate that everybody get vaccinated.”

Among the new regulations, unvaccinated players must be tested daily for the virus, wear masks, and are not allowed to eat meals with teammates, while fully vaccinated players have no such restrictions.

“It’s a personal choice for everybody in our community, everybody in our country, and everybody on our team,” continues Ballard. “We’re encouraging it, but saying that, we’ll deal with whatever we have to deal with. We saw that we can handle what we had to deal with last year, and whatever the numbers are this year, we’ll deal with it again.”

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