Unvaccinated players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the reigning Super Bowl champions — as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers are to wear yellow wristbands at practices to distinguish them from vaccinated players, NBC Sports reported.
What are the details?
The network's Pro Football Talk writer Mike Florio posted two short pieces Sunday describing the wristband plans for each team as they enforce their own COVID-19 protocols.
Florio wrote that the Buccaneers will use yellow wristbands for unvaccinated players and red wristbands for vaccinated players.
Josh Pearson (89) takes the field moments before the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp workout on July 26, 2021, at the AdventHealth Training Center at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
In his other piece, Florio noted that unvaccinated Steelers players will be wearing yellow wristbands at practice. There was no indication whether vaccinated Steelers players would don any kind of wristband.
In addition, Florio reported Monday that unvaccinated players on the Jacksonville Jaguars "will wear a wristband" — but he didn't specify a color.
How's that all working out?
Florio on Sunday said Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette "surely" will have a wristband since he's been on the fence about getting the jab, but in his Monday piece Florio noted that Fournette was wearing "no wristband" during Sunday's practice.
He added that photos showed there were "plenty of players with red wristbands, such as tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Mike Evans" — but Florio reported that "for some players, no wristband can be seen." Among the wristband-less were iconic quarterback Tom Brady and backups Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask, he noted.
Looks like Brady was going without a wristband Tuesday as well:
Tom Brady (12) warms up during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp on July 27, 2021, at the AdventHealth Training Center at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
"It's unclear what any of it means, other than the intended procedures apparently aren't being completely adhered to, yet," Florio noted.
The Buccaneers on Tuesday didn't immediately comment on TheBlaze's request for comment on the apparent wristband-wearing inconsistencies.
Florio also said Steelers first-round rookie running back Najee Harris is "one of the few" players wearing a yellow wristband. "The Steelers have been among the most successful at getting players to choose to take the vaccine," Florio noted Sunday. "That's a testament to the persuasive powers of coach Mike Tomlin, who realizes the competitive advantage of getting it — and disadvantage of not getting it."
As for wristband-wearing in general, NFL Players Association President — and Cleveland Browns center — JC Tretter wrote that "we did not agree to them and think they are unnecessary."
The chatter about players wearing wristbands to signal whether or not they're vaccinated follows a tumultuous couple of days last week when the NFL issued a lengthy memo announcing possible penalties for unvaccinated players and their teams, including loss of pay and game forfeits.
In response, Arizona Cardinals superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins implied he would consider retiring rather than take the vaccine. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams tweeted his support for unvaccinated players: "I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are COVID positive. I'm just saying. I wouldn't look at a teammate as bad if he don't get the vax."
But defensive end Jerry Hughes of the Buffalo Bills criticized players who refused to be vaccinated: "Sooo the top scientists in the entire world got together to figure out how to combat COVID-19. And when they came up with a vaccine, you question them. They are trying to save lives and you have doubt."