The Buffalo Bills were looking to have an even better year in 2021 than they had in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions and rules that come with it will seemingly make it that much more difficult as many players remain unvaccinated.
On Thursday, Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie, who is unvaccinated, shared a letter that says he was viewed not wearing a mask around the facility and was promptly fined almost $15,000. Cole Beasley later jumped on Twitter and said he was fined as well for the same thing.
Because of that, both players are now subject to even stiffer penalties.
“After the NFL fined them $14,650 for refusal to wear a mask, Bills WRs Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie are now subject to increased discipline for a repeat violation — including for conduct detrimental with a maximum fine of one week’s salary and/or 4-game unpaid suspension.”
Earlier this week, it was announced that Buffalo Bills wide receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, and defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler would all miss the next five days of practice after being deemed close contacts of a team trainer who tested positive for COVID-19.
All four tested negative for the virus, but must miss practice anyway, per the NFL’s COVID-19 policy.
The NFL policies include more frequent testing, masks and social distancing in the team facility and during team travel for unvaccinated players. It also requires unvaccinated players to stay away from the team for five days if they are deemed close contacts with someone who tests positive.
“It’s common sense that if a vaxxed or unvaxxed player is tested less frequently, the likelihood of a player being pulled for COVID drops dramatically,” Beasley said. “In regard to player safety, I’ll conclude by saying we all want to be safe.”
Beasley was the Bills’ second-leading receiver in 2020, recording 967 yards on 82 catches.