4. Will the Vols be fully vaccinated by the start of the season?
Yes, there is another off-the-field storyline that ties into last season, but it’s relevant. This year should be back to normal after the COVID-related incidents that took place last year. However, there are still going to be restrictions when players and coaches test positive for the virus, and that could have a huge impact on the year.
As a result, the vaccination rates of every team is relevant. In that Tuesday press conference referenced on the previous slide, Josh Heupel didn’t say specifically how many players were vaccinated, but he did say players are continuing to get vaccinated and that they are continuing to “gain traction” on that front.
At the same time, the Vols haven’t hit their vaccination “benchmark” yet for the start of the season. Heupel couldn’t say whether or not the team would hit that mark either, saying they would let the public know when it happened.
That suggests Heupel doesn’t even have a timeframe of when the players will hit the vaccination benchmark. With such little information on this, it’s going to be as big of a news story as the investigation until that benchmark is hit. The last thing UT needs is for key players to miss big games this year due to a COVID outbreak.