- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 18, 2021

The only debate more heated than whether or not Joe Flacco is elite is about the coronavirus vaccines.

Ahead of his start for the New York Jets, Flacco on Wednesday didn’t weigh into the debate about his eliteness. However, the former Super Bowl MVP did confirm that he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

While wearing a mask during his press conference, Flacco, 36, didn’t pull an Aaron Rodgers when asked about his vaccination status, quickly admitting he’s not inoculated against the virus that’s killed 766,000 Americans.

“I definitely have my reasons,” Flacco said. “I’d honestly like to talk about this topic more than anybody. It’s one of those things you debate all the time, but I’ve overall felt like it’s more of a distraction than anything. So I feel like to talk about it too much and give you all my beliefs is more of a distraction than anything. I think the most important thing is going to play a football game.”

The Jets traded a sixth-round pick for the former Ravens franchise signal-caller on Oct. 25 after Zach Wilson injured his knee. Flacco, who started four games for the Jets last season, is starting Sunday against Miami over the injured Wilson and Mike White, who has been benched following his four-interception performance last week.

Flacco was asked about the Rodgers controversy — which involved the Packers’ quarterback misleading the media about his vaccination status in August before catching COVID and missing a game earlier this month — and said he understands the league’s rules.

“When those things happen, we’ve all been told what the protocols are, and we’re all following the protocols,” Flacco said. “Whether you believe it or not, it is what it is. If you want to go out there and play the game you love, you have to do what you have to do.”

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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