Skip to main content

NFL Rule Changes: COVID-19 Cancellations Could Result in Forfeits

The NFL has sent a memo to all 32 teams regarding COVID-19 outbreaks, the causes, and the conseqences, which include potential forfeits.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:
NFL overtime rule playoffs

Photo: AP Photo/Matt Patterson

With the 2021 NFL season right around the corner, the league has informed all teams of a new change to potential COVID-19 schedule disruptions.

In a memo to all 32 teams, the league announced it will not be extending the season if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs due to unvaccinated players. If that game is unable to be rescheduled during the 18-week regular season, the team that caused the cancellation will have to forfeit that game. Furthermore, the team at fault will be credited with a loss in regards to playoff seeding.

Also of note, players from both teams will not be paid for a canceled game. This is a tactic the league is employing in hopes of having players hold their peers more accountable during the season.

Scroll to continue

Recommended Articles

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network outlined even more details in a recent Twitter thread. The league is clearly using the new guidelines as an incentive to achieve the highest vaccination rate possible in addition to keeping the season on the schedule set forth ahead of the 2021 campaign. If there are any cancellations/forefits, it will be interesting to see the reaction across the NFL landscape, as some players have voiced potential concern regarding the matter.