- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

ASHBURN — Washington coach Ron Rivera said he was pleased by the number of players who recently stepped forward to get the vaccine — and the percentages appear to back him up. 

According to multiple reports, the Washington Football Team now has 84% of players with at least one dose of the vaccine. That percentage climbed from last week, when the number hovered around 70%, and spiked since July 16, when it was below 50%. 

Overall, 90% of NFL players have at least one dose and 74% are fully vaccinated.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that only 50.5% of the team’s players are fully vaccinated. That ranks them 27th in the NFL, which is also a jump given that Washington was the least-vaccinated team in the league last week. 

Rivera had said he was “beyond frustrated” with the low vaccination rates and pleaded with his team to get vaccinated. The team, too, struggled with the virus as many as seven players landed on the COVID-19 reserve list — meaning they tested positive or were deemed a high-risk, close contact who had to quarantine. 

On Tuesday, tackle Cornelius Lucas was activated off the list and worked to the side with trainers. Defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis and cornerback Chris Miller were also seen on the side field — an indication they soon could be activated after going on the reserve list five days ago. Unvaccinated players deemed close contacts must quarantine at least five days before being cleared to return. Ioannidis’ wife said her husband did not test positive for the virus.

A day earlier, wideout Antonio Gandy-Golden admitted he was one of the players who recently changed his mind about the vaccine. After having COVID-19 in spring 2020, Gandy-Golden said he originally thought he would be fine without the vaccine, though he said the information push from coaches caused him to get it.

“I went ahead and got the vaccine just to keep everybody safe and not have to worry about it anymore,” Gandy-Golden said, later adding, “I started reading and seeing coach bringing these experts in to talk to us. They obviously put a lot of time into this, so it’s obviously pretty serious.”

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