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. He said only six NFL teams have 90% of their players vaccinated so far.
Hear all of Reid’s interview Friday in the video player above.
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 will not have any of those restrictions.
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.
Mahomes noted that it shouldn’t distract the team, and if a player isn’t vaccinated, they should be as safe and cautious as possible.
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.