After one season as co-offensive line coach, Cole Popovich will reportedly not be coaching with the New England Patriots in 2021.
As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the decision is “related to the COVID-19 vaccine and NFL guidelines.”
Unlike for players, the COVID-19 vaccine is a requirement for all “Tier 1″ personnel on NFL teams. That includes coaches — along with scouts, front office executives and equipment staff.
Popovich had been the co-offensive line coach along with Carmen Bricillo. The duo had taken over the position after legendary Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia retired after the 2018 season.
This is not the first report regarding an NFL assistant coach and the vaccine on Friday. Previously, ESPN reported that Minnesota Vikings assistant Rick Dennison was out as offensive line coach after choosing not to become vaccinated.
Patriots players reported to Gillette Stadium this week in preparation for training camp next week. The team’s first full practice will be on Tuesday, July 27. The practice will be open to fans for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Story by Nick O’Malley, masslive.com