Bruce Arians infamously said before the 2020 season started that the team that beats COVID will win the Super Bowl. He later told the team during the 2021 offseason that if it wants to return to normal, then everyone needs to get vaccinated.
So it shouldn't really come as a surprise that the Bucs are now just one of two teams in the NFL to reach 100% vaccination status as of Thursday. Arians told reporters after practice that every player, coach, and staff member has received their shot(s) and are safeguarded - to an extent - against the Coronavirus.
"We're 100% vaccinated … all the players, all the coaches, everybody," Arians said Thursday.
It was never really in question as to whether or not the Bucs would reach the NFL's recommended threshold of 85% vaccination status, however, many were curious if the Bucs would reach 100%; especially after running back Leonard Fournette tweeted "Vaccine I can't do it" in response to the NFL's declaration that teams will be docked paychecks if an outbreak causes a game to be canceled without determining a way to reschedule said game.
The rival Falcons are the only other team to reach 100% vaccination status, so far. It's awfully fitting that the defending Super Bowl champs are one of the first teams to reach the 100% threshold. It's yet another sincere display of dedication to the cause, to each other, and the goal of "Going For Two".
"[I'm] just trying to be the best teammate I can be," Fournette told reporters after Thursday's practice. "[I'm] just trying to be the bigger person and get it over with. People [are] still catching it, but it makes it a lot better that I have the shot and don't cause other [problems] on the team. Because we need every hand in here for these next couple of big games we got coming up. Especially for this opener."
Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL news and analysis. Follow along on social media at @SIBuccaneers on Twitter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.