NFL Policy on Jersey Swaps Will Impact Titans Safety, Among Others
Tennessee Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro sat in his game room on May 29 and fielded questions from media members about football, an ongoing pandemic, video games and a gender reveal gone wrong, which he posted to his Instagram.
Another topic discussed was about what hung on the wall behind him: NFL jerseys from the numerous postgame jersey swaps he has done with players and teammates throughout his career.
“These are just all the jerseys that I’ve got throughout the years,” Vaccaro said. “Earl (Thomas) is behind me, KB (Kevin Byard), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix when he was with the Packers, Malcolm Jenkins, Tony (Jefferson), Landon Collins. Drew (Brees), if you can see, Drew is right there behind me next to Von (Miller).”
He explained that he still has many others to hang up. This year, he may have time to catch up on that.
In addition to a slew of other rules and protocols that NFL players, coaches and other team personnel will have to follow, the increasingly popular postgame tradition will go by the wayside in 2020.
According to NFL.com’s Tom Pellissero, NFL teams will be “forbidden from postgame interactions within six feet of each other and jersey exchanges between players will be prohibited during the 2020 season.”
A large contingent of NFL players, including Vaccarro, were inquisitive and critical after catching wind of the news.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson tweeted, “that’s DAMN SILLY bro..”
Vaccaro, who swapped jerseys with Watson last season (pictured), responded to Watson’s tweet, “But we can tackle each other? Cmon now.”
Watson later engaged with a few fans: “Then explain to me why are they allowing us to play at all? The other 4 quarters don’t matter.. I don’t understand so help me sir.”
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who never shies away from voicing his
opinion, shared a similar sentiment.
“This is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell,” Sherman tweeted. “Players can go engage in a full contact game and do it safely. However, it is deemed unsafe for them to exchange jerseys after said game.”
Unless Vaccaro and others can find a safe, COVID-19-acceptable way to swap jerseys, they will more than likely have to wait until further notice to add to their cherished collections. Or in Vaccaro’s case, a game-room shrine.