Interim New York Jets starting quarterback Joe Flacco wore a mask to a press session on Wednesday, revealing his unvaccinated status to reporters.
Flacco arrived to talk with reporters over his upcoming start against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. His mask-wearing was compliant with the NFL rule for all unvaccinated players to wear a cover to appear on the podium, a mandate recently thwarted by Aaron Rodgers.
Wanting no part of the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated debate, Flacco traipsed around the focus on his status.
"I definitely have my reasons," Flacco commented. "I’d honestly like to talk about this topic more than anybody. It’s one of those things you debate all the time, but I’ve overall felt like it’s more of a distraction than anything. So I feel like to talk about it too much and give you all my beliefs is more of a distraction than anything. I think the most important thing is going to play a football game."
The Jets acquired Flacco via trade with the Eagles on Oct. 25. Though he understands the risk it poses to his availability, Flacco assured reporters that he based his decision not to be vaccinated on a well-rounded look at the League’s response and the vaccine itself.
"We all know what the rules are. So when those things happen, we’ve all been told what the protocols are, and we’re all following the protocols. Whether you believe it or not, it is what it is. If you want to go out there and play the game you love, you have to do what you have to do."
According to OutKick’s Nick Geddes, "the NFL is implementing heightened COVID-19 protocols around Thanksgiving. The protocols include mandatory masking and testing of all players and staff twice a day after Thanksgiving. The NFL is encouraging teams to test players and staff visiting friends and family for the holiday."