Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Thursday that the entire organization is vaccinated against COVID-19, making them one of the first teams in the NFL to reach that mark, per ESPN.
“We’re 100-percent vaccinated — our entire organization — all the players, all the coaches, everybody,” Arians said.
It is an impressive feat, given some players and staff were originally against getting the shot. Running back Leonard Fournette is one such player who was initially against getting vaccinated but changed his mind.
“I’m just trying to be the best teammate I can be,” Fournette told ESPN. “Not causing no more than what we can handle now as is. People getting sick each and every day. Just trying to be the bigger person and get it over with.”
The Buccs are the second team to announce they are fully vaccinated, with the Atlanta Falcons being the first to say they reached that mark in mid-August.
“People are still catching it, but it makes it a lot better to have the shot,” Fournette said. “We need every hand in here for these next couple big games we’ve got coming up.”
Tampa Bay kicks off their 2021 season with a “Thursday Night Football” matchup against the Dallas Cowboys — a team that has been mum since the start of training camp with regard to their vaccination rates. Former Cowboys wide receiver and Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin chastised his former team back in July for not being close to the NFL’s 85% minimum vaccination rate.