Antonio Brown is a talented receiver, but he is also a controversial figure. Like other elite receivers before him, he has a pretty big ego and likes to be the center of attention. That kind of attitude, combined with his skills, makes him a high-profile player in the league — but it also gives him some detractors, who criticize some of the things he does. The 33-year-old pass-catcher’s latest headlines are the result of the Buccaneers placing him on the COVID-19 list, and that news has fans curious: Is Antonio Brown vaccinated? We have the answer.
The Buccaneers put Antonio Brown on the COVID-19 list
ESPN reports that the Bucs have placed Brown on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Brown is the third Bucs player to be put on the list this week, and he reportedly tested positive for the virus. The Bucs have a challenging game this week, heading West to take on the Rams at SoFi Stadium, and they’ll need all of their offensive weapons in what could be a shootout. Head coach Bruce Arians says that Brown has a chance to play in Sunday’s game, but the team is preparing as if he won’t be available. In order to be removed from the list and be eligible to play, Brown needs two negative tests 24 hours apart, as well as to be asymptomatic.
Is Antonio Brown vaccinated?
NFL fans are wondering if Antonio Brown is vaccinated, and the answer is yes. The Bucs are actually one of the few teams in the NFL with a 100% vaccination rate, as Sports Illustrated reports. That, according to head coach Bruce Arians, means all of the Bucs’ players, coaches, and staff members are fully vaccinated.
The NFL recommends that teams get to an 85% vaccination threshold, which never seemed to be an issue for the Bucs. Whether they would get to 100%, however, was a question — especially after Leonard Fournette seemed to be hesitant to get vaccinated, tweeting “vaccine I can’t do it.” Fournette apparently changed his mind and got the shots. Regarding the issue, he told reporters he is “just trying to be the best teammate [he] can be” and is “just trying to be the bigger person and get it over with.”
Having a fully vaccinated squad is important to teams this season because the league has announced that if an outbreak leads to a game being canceled, the players would not receive their paychecks for the scheduled game. And if an unvaccinated player causes his teammates to lose a check, they probably wouldn’t be too happy with him.
The NFL has a high overall vaccination rate
Policies that the NFL has instituted, including docking game checks, is likely a major factor in the high vaccination rate that the league has experienced. Of players on team rosters in Week 1, 93.5% were fully vaccinated. In addition to the Bucs, the Falcons and the Raiders are 100% vaccinated, and 17 teams have exceeded the 95% threshold.
It’s not all good news on the vaccination front, however, as not all teams have reached the NFL’s target of 85%. The lowest vaccination rate in the league is just 80%, and there are three teams between 80% and 85%.
While the situation is promising overall in the league, the teams on the low end of the spectrum are risking suffering outbreaks that could potentially lead to games getting canceled, which would hurt their own squads as well as their opponents if it were to happen. The Colts and Vikings had COVID-19 outbreaks during the offseason, but there has yet to be a major cluster on any teams since the regular season began — and with the high vaccination rate across the league it is looking good that there may not be.