ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Almost all of the Kansas City Chiefs are vaccinated, head coach Andy Reid said on the first day of training camp.
Rookies and quarterbacks reported to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph on Friday, and Reid and several players were on hand to talk virtually with the media.
Reid said 90% of Chiefs players and 100% of the team’s coaching staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Players have really challenged themselves to get things done and take care of business,” Reid said.
He said only six NFL teams have 90% of their players vaccinated so far.
“I think it’s guys just talking to each other. It’s trusting your medical staff, which ends up being important in this, and then you’ve got to make a decision. We all have had to do this, so you’ve got to make a decision on how you have to go forward,” he said.
Hear all of Reid’s interview Friday in the video player below.
Popular players like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce have already spoken out that they got vaccinated.
“We’ve been playing defense against COVID-19, but now, with vaccine available, we can finally play some offense, baby,” Kelce said in a video released last week.
The NFL has been encouraging players and staff to get vaccinated but not requiring it.
However, Tier 1 and 2 employees are required to get vaccinated to keep their tiered access without a “bon fide medical or religious ground.”
There are also benefits for players to get vaccinated.
Unvaccinated players are required to get a daily COVID-19 test, wear masks and social distance. Unvaccinated players also won’t be allowed to eat meals with teammates, can’t use the sauna or steam room, and may not leave the hotel or interact with people outside the team during trips.
Vaccinated players won’t have any of those restrictions.
But on top of that, the NFL said this week that teams that experience a COVID-19 outbreak among nonvaccinated players could forfeit regular-season games, with players on both teams not getting paid.
When asked about vaccinations and the league’s COVID-19 policies, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said it’s a personal choice.
“It’s your choice. Do whatever you need to do what’s best for you and your family,” he said. “I don’t let it become a distraction. We kind of go about business as we try to do whatever we can to win.”
Mahomes noted he’s confident his teammates will be as safe and cautious as possible.
“Definitely a big deal with that coming out, forfeiting games. You never want to do that, but I think we have the guys in the locker room that are either going to be vaccinated or going to be smart if they’re not vaccinated and not try to hurt the team in anyway,” he said.
Chiefs veterans report Monday, and the first day of public training camp is set for July 28 — only open to season ticket members. The first practice open to the general public is July 29.
Keep in mind that autographs, meet-and-greet sessions, and other special events have been called off this year due to the pandemic. While many practices are free, a ticket for each person is required. Tickets must be reserved online through the Chiefs website.