TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said the team is in “great, great shape” when asked about the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.
The percentage of the players, who have been vaccinated, has been rising and Arians confirmed the entire team may be vaccinated before the start of the regular season.
“We are way up there,” he said. “By the time we get to 53 [on the roster,] I would anticipate being 100 [percent vaccinated] – plus the practice guys being 100 so, if not, it might be one guy. So we are in great, great shape.”
Arians has been outspoken in his support for the vaccine, saying in June, “if you want to get back to normal, get vaccinated.”
Earlier this month, Arians said he expected the team to surpass a 90 percent vaccination rate by the first preseason game, which the Bucs played on Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“On August 13, we’ll be 92 percent – close to 100, really,” Arians said on Aug. 1. “We have a couple guys who’ve had it and can’t get their vaccine. As soon as they get their shot, two weeks later, they’ll be good. Pretty much we’ll be close to 100 percent, at least 98 percent, for the first game.”
At the time, he acknowledged receiving a vaccine is a personal decision but said he was confident several players who had held off being vaccinated would eventually do so.