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Bruce Arians believes Bucs will be close to 100-percent vaccinated by start of season

The Tampa Bay head coach said some unvaccinated players are reconsidering the decisions.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians observes the team’s voluntary workout session Tuesday at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians observes the team’s voluntary workout session Tuesday at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jul. 28

TAMPA ― Coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday he believes close to 100 percent of the Bucs players will be vaccinated before they host the Dallas Cowboys in the kickoff to the NFL season on Sept. 9.

When asked how the goal to vaccinate as many players as possible was going, Arians sounded extremely confident Wednesday.

“Great. A lot of guys are re-thinking it (getting the vaccine),” Arians said. “But everybody is following the rules that are set for them, and the guys that are under the old rules, they know the rules, they know what it takes. I wouldn’t see any problems with anybody.”

Several Bucs players, including running back Leonard Fournette and safety Mike Edwards, have indicated they are unvaccinated.

But Fournette said he planned to gain more information on the vaccine and didn’t rule it out. Apparently, other players may follow suit.

It’s believed about 2,500 NFL players have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. At least 18 teams have a vaccinated level of at least 90 percent of its players, while only three teams remain below 70 percent, according to the Athletic.

“I feel great where we’re at, and I think we’re just going to get better and better,” Arians said. “I don’t know if we’ll hit 100, but we’re going to be really, really close by that time.”

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