TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Thursday the players, coaches, and staff members with the team are 100% vaccinated, becoming one of only two teams in the NFL who can say that.
The announcement comes just a week before the Bucs begin the defense of their Super Bowl championship. The Bucs open the season on September 9 against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium.
Bucs running back Leonard Fournette was one of the most vocal in opposing getting the vaccine. But Thursday, Fournette said he had been vaccinated, and doing so was helping the team.
Tampa Bay achieving 100 percent vaccination should help the team avoid some of the possibilities of losing players to COVID protocols. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to COVID-19 protocols earlier this week that focused on the unvaccinated.
The new protocols include daily testing for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated players, including off days; no entering a team facility until tested; and unvaccinated or partially vaccinated may not enter a facility or interact with others while waiting for test results.
So far, the only other team to announce they had reached 100 percent vaccination was the Atlanta Falcons.