CHICAGO (CBS) — Four Chicago Bears players remained on the COVID-19 reserve list as of Thursday, and potential changes to COVID protocols have one Bear upset and speaking out.
“I did what I was supposed to do. I did what I was asked to do so I could come in here and practice every day and play every day,” said Bears tight end Jimmy Graham, “and now, it’s a bit frustrating.”READ MORE: Car Crashes Into Near North Diner
As CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported, Graham is airing grievances over the NFL Players Association’s proposed daily COVID-19 testing for vaccinated players.
“We had a game plan going into the season last year, and I thought we had a game plan going into this year – but now we’re going back on all those things we talked about,” Graham said.
Graham tweeted out a memo from the NFLPA that calls for an increase in testing due to the spread of the Delta variant and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
— Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) August 5, 2021READ MORE: Woman Killed In Jefferson Park Hit-And-Run
Of the more than 7,000 players and staff tested in week one of training camp, the association reports 65 people tested positive – and about half were vaccinated.
Graham said he felt he was basically forced to get the vaccine, and now could face penalties if he doesn’t abide to the proposed stricter rules.
“It was very advantageous to than not to. Obviously, I’m just being very candid,” he said. “But it’s very obvious with the rules. With the max fines for every little thing that you could do, which wasn’t in place last year.”
Head Coach Matt Nagy said Graham has not spoken to him about his concerns. But Nagy said things are changing every day when it comes to managing virus concerns.
“People can do what they want to do is kind of how I look at it – I believe in that,” Nagy said. “But at the same time with where we’re at, we want to educate and encourage them to do it so we can all be able to move on and listen to what the experts are saying.”MORE NEWS: Police Officer Shot; 15-Year-Old Wounded, 1 Killed In South Shore
This daily testing for vaccinated players remains a proposal from the NFL Players Association. That is why Jimmy Graham says now is the time to speak up about concerns and frustrations.