Training camp officially began one week ago and quarterback Lamar Jackson has yet to take the field due to testing positive a second time for COVID-19. With Jackson expected to miss 10 days, it means he did not receive the vaccine over the course of the offseason. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, in a conversation with wbal, said Jackson needs to get the vaccine.
“Lamar’s gotta get (vaccinated),” Hogan said. “With the rules the NFL put down, I can’t imagine a team wanting to forfeit a game or lose a chance at the playoffs and none of the players getting paid because someone won’t get a vaccine.”
Though Tom Pelissero reported the NFL is now at a 90% vaccination rate for players, it’s concerning now that Jackson has missed multiple games and now training camp due to the virus.
He’s not the only starting quarterback to miss time due to being unvaccinated, either. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins did not receive the vaccine and by being a high-risk close-contact with a teammate who tested positive, missed practice time last week. This upset his Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who didn’t hold back on when discussing his frustrations when asked about the likelihood of a star player missing time due to COVID-19-related issues.
“Probably won’t be happy we lost the game, first, and I probably won’t be happy we could’ve prevented this,” Zimmer said. “Like I said, these guys, some of them just won’t do it. I shouldn’t say it, but some of the things they read is just, whew, out there. It’s their beliefs, so. I don’t know if it’s misinformation. It’s their belief, so whatever they’ve heard or read or been told. Not from – maybe they don’t believe what [NFL chief medical officer] Dr. [Allen] Sills and the NFL is telling them either, so.”
It appears quite a few quarterbacks are unvaccinated in the NFL, as both Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz both wouldn’t respond with a yes or no. Prescott incorrectly cited HIPAA as a way to not respond to the question.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the HIPAA Privacy Rule to implement the requirements of HIPAA. The HIPAA Security Rule protects a subset of information covered by the Privacy Rule.”
The more Ravens players to get vaccinated, the less statistical likelihood of a COVID-19-related issue can occur. If Jackson hopes to curb both the virus itself and the attention he’s drawn regarding the matter, the fastest way to do so would be by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.