Educating players on the COVID-19 vaccine is a priority for Matt Nagy & the Bears

Bears Report

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy talks to his team during NFL football practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LAKE FOREST – The biggest question that’s being presented to athletes at the moment across many team sports has little to do with the games themselves.

Are you or aren’t you? That’s the vaccination question that’s on many people’s minds as sports continue from the spring to the summer of 2021.

A number of players and coaches on the Bears figured to be asked about it over the coming weeks as they wrap up voluntary OTA and then start veteran mini-camp next week at Halas Hall.

Matt Nagy fielded some of those question on Wednesday as he was asked about his team getting the vaccine and about competitive advantages that might come with more Tier 1 personnel receiving it.

For the head coach, there is one thing that’s mostly on his mind: Education.

“We all have our own opinions on what we want to do and not do, but if you understand the education of it, if we encourage it, which is what we’re doing, then we can all make our own decisions and decide to get it,” said Nagy.

He’s gotten the vaccine, and he was able to take the field without a mask for the first time over the past few days.

“Today I kinda woke up this morning and I was pretty fired up to not have to put that thing on, I left it in my car, I walked into work,” said Nagy of not wearing the mask in workouts. “It’s just different when you see people’s expressions when you talk to them, when you’re out in the field, in meetings, etcetera.

“It’s definitely nice to not have to wear the mask.”

Those who are not vaccinated still have to wear it, per NFL regulations, as work continues at Halas Hall over the next week-and-a-half. Nagy said that he believes his coaching will be fully vaccinated by the time training camp arrives in late July and will continue to give players the information they need when making their choice.

“We would love everybody to get the vaccinations and encourage that and educate them on it,” said Nagy. “I think the best thing that (Bears head athletic trainer) Andre (Tucker) and the rest of our staff has done here is we’ve really just encouraged people to ask questions that they’re not sure about, and not that we have the exact answers, but we’re going to be there to listen and that’s probably the best thing to do.”

Many other teams in many other sports will be trying to do the same.

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