As teams made their final cuts to their roster prior to Tuesdays deadline, Jacksonville Jaguars’ Urban Meyer raised eyebrows around the league.
As a result of comments he made, the NFL Players Association office will launch an investigation on the team.
The rookie head coach said a players COVID-19 vaccination status will be taken into consideration. This was in an attempt for him and General Manager Trent Baalke to trim the roster to 53 players.
Sundays matchup with the Dallas Cowboys was the last time for Jags’ coaching staff to evaluate players who were still fighting for roster positions.
“Everyone was considered,” Meyer continued. ” That was part of the production, let’s start talking about this, and then also is he vaccinated or not. Can I say that that was a decision maker? It was certainly in consideration.”
Meyer’s comments spurred an investigation into the team.
NFLPA comment to PFT on Jaguars coach Urban Meyer admitting vaccination status was a factor in roster cuts: “These comments have led us to open an investigation.”
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 1, 2021
At this time, the NFL doesn’t require for players to receive the vaccine. However, the strict COVID-19 protocols for players and staff who are unvaccinated was a component during the Jags’ roster cuts.
Meyer also reflected on Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl quarterback inactivity throughout this preseason.
“Josh Allen’s never had it and he’s not played in two weeks He’s never had COVID”, Meyer continued. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, but he’s never had COVID. So, that’s pretty punitive.”
An unvaccinated player who was in close contact with COVID-19 is said to be high risk and will require to quarantine for five days. Vaccinated player will miss no time at all.
The NFL Players Association has launched an investigation following Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer's admission that vaccination status factored into the team's roster decisions. https://t.co/Y8OKTQKASR
— The Pantagraph (@Pantagraph) September 1, 2021
Team Issues Statement
Earlier today, the Jaguars released a statement in response to the The NFL Players Association investigation to the club in the aftermath of Meyers controversial remarks.
“Availability is one of the many factors taken into account when making roster decisions. We have vaccinated and unvaccinated players on our roster, and no player was released because of their vaccination status. Ultimately, decisions are based on a player’s ability to help the Jaguars win. We educate our players and respect personal decisions as it pertains to the vaccine. We want to keep our players, staff and families safe as we comply with protocols related to both health and safety and competition on game days” per Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meyers Eventful Offseason
The newly hired head coach has already made plenty of noise this offseason. One example is the addition of former Heisman Winner Tim Tebow to the roster. Prior to cutting him, Tebow’s presence on the roster raised questions around the league.
In addition, Meyer wouldn’t name Trevor Lawrence the starter until after trading Gardner Minshew to Philadelphia.
However, the three time national championship winning coach, who is use to having about 100 players to a team, is very much aware his lack of experiencing in making roster cuts.
Now with final roster being set, Meyer and the Jaguars look to their first regular season game on the to Houston to play the Texans Sept. 12.