In an effort to keep away from additional suspensions like those handed all the way down to Tampa Bay Buccaneers huge receiver Antonio Brown and defensive again Mike Edwards, NFL officers spent the previous week calling a number of teams to inquire whether or not gamers who had gotten COVID-19 had been vaccinated on website on the staff’s coaching facility or off website at one other location, league sources advised ESPN on Saturday.
League officers need additional information on this with the intention to confirm whether or not some other gamers have misrepresented their vaccination standing, sources mentioned. Teams have been leery about gamers utilizing pretend vaccination playing cards and have warned a few of them in regards to the severity of such an offense.
While there don’t look like any energetic investigations over pretend vaccination playing cards, the league desires to ensure no different gamers try and recreation the system.
Even Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians referred to as for the league to take additional and stronger motion.
“There’s lots more to the story,” Arians advised reporters Friday. “I simply hope they do not cease wanting.”
The league was so bothered by the actions of Brown and Edwards that it wished to droop them as much as eight video games, sources mentioned. The league argued for six- to eight-game suspensions for every participant, which might have ended their 2021 seasons.
But after negotiations and discussions with the NFL Players Association, the 2 sides settled on three-game suspensions for every of the three gamers disciplined this previous week. Brown, Edwards and John Franklin III, every had been suspended three video games, with every participant waiving his proper to attraction.
But others across the league are predicting that this won’t be the final gamers suspended for their vaccination standing.
Fake vaccination playing cards should not a part of the collectively agreed to COVID-19 protocols, as a result of such violations are federal offenses, and any participant who tried to make use of a pretend vaccination card would open himself as much as a federal investigation — worse than self-discipline that the NFL may impose.