Panthers' Sam Darnold hasn't committed to getting COVID-19 vaccine, wants to 'evaluate' all the factors

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold hasn’t committed to getting the COVID-19 vaccine just yet despite the league’s push to get more players vaccinated, saying he needs to “evaluate” what’s best for him.

Darnold revealed to reporters Wednesday that he is among the players not vaccinated and has not yet made a decision on if he will. 

“I still gotta think about all those certain things that go into it,” Darnold said, via The Charlotte Observer. “Again, it’s everyone’s choice whether they want to get vaccinated or not. So, that’s really all I got on it. I don’t want to go too into detail.”

” … I’m just staying by myself right now. I don’t have a family or anything like that … I’m gonna evaluate that on my own and make the best decision that I feel like, again, is the best for myself,” he added. 

Darnold’s comment follows Washington pass rusher Montez Sweat coming out against his team’s attempt to persuade players to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I’m not a fan of it,” Sweat said Wednesday. “I probably won’t get vaccinated until I get more facts and that stuff. I’m not a fan of it at all.”

Washington brought in Harvard immunologist Kizzmekia S. Corbett to speak with players Tuesday night about the vaccines. 

“We’re trying to gather as much information and allow the players to get as much information so they can make a choice and make a decision,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said. “The big thing is we’ve got to be able to facilitate the opportunity for these guys to understand. There’s a lot of messaging that’s out there that they get off of Twitter and some of it’s good, some of it’s bad.”

But Sweat wasn’t on board. 

“I haven’t caught COVID yet so I don’t see me treating COVID until I actually get COVID,” he said.

The NFL last month dropped a mask mandate for fully vaccinated players and staff. Commissioner Roger Goodell said late last month that 30 of the league’s 32 teams had a vaccination rate above 90% for tier 1 and 2 level staff members.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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