TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians took issue Tuesday with the suggestion that his team was somehow violating league COVID-19 protocols by not wearing wristbands to identify which players have received the vaccine.
"If I give you some information, at least know the f---ing rules before you put it in the press. Red and yellow bands -- they don't have to wear them at practice," Arians said before taking the question. "That's for indoors. I've gotta read s--- that we should be fined for red and yellow bands because they ain't got them on at practice. That's bulls---. If you're gonna report s---, make sure it's f---ing right."
None of the Bucs' three days of training camp practices that were open to media and the public have been indoors -- only outdoors. In them, some players have worn wristbands while others have not.
Arians did not specify who he thought was criticizing his team, but ProFootballTalk reported Monday that some Bucs players were wearing red wristbands while other players weren't wearing wristbands at all.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that the NFL and the NFLPA are at odds over the use of wristbands to identity unvaccinated players. The NFL is allowing clubs to to make players wear bright colored wristbands, which the NFLPA believes is unnecessary.
The league does mandate that teams must have some sort of system for identifying vaccinated and unvaccinated players since the rules for each group vary significantly in terms of physical distancing in the weight room and the use of showers and cold tubs, as well as entering the facility. The Bucs chose to go with the wristband system but the system is only required inside the facility.
"We've known these rules for a while," Arians said. "Our guys are doing everything they're supposed to be doing. I just get pissed when somebody reports that we're not."