Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. The Bills wide receiver is in danger of missing Week 16’s crucial matchup against the New England Patriots. Buffalo sits one game back of New England for first place in the AFC East division with three games to go in the regular season. We take a look at if there’s any way Beasley can play heading into Sunday.
Is it possible for Cole Beasley to play in Week 16 vs. Patriots?
Update — Beasley, in fact, tested positive and won’t be able to play in Week 16 vs. the Patriots.
Because we know Beasley isn’t vaccinated, there’s a very slim chance he’ll be able to play on Sunday unless he tested negative and was only a close contact. If Beasley tests positive for COVID-19, then he has to isolate a minimum of 10 days in order to return. In that case, he would be ruled out for Week 16 vs. the Pats.
If Beasley is out, the Bills could be missing multiple starting WRs. Emmanuel Sanders (knee) was held out of Week 15’s win over the Panthers. Sanders could miss Sunday’s game and the Bills would be left with Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis as the top-2 wideouts. Behind them, Jake Kumerow could get work as a slot guy and Isaiah McKenzie would be the likely third receiver. Dawson Knox is also a candidate to see more targets if Beasley can’t play.
Here’s a full rundown of the NFL’s protocols:
- He receives two BRL PCR test results that are either negative or produce Cycle Threshold (CT) values of 35 or greater; OR
- He receives one BRL PCR test result that is either negative or produces CT values of 35 or greater and a negative Mesa test result from a test taken within 24 hours of the BRL PCR test. Both tests can be taken at the same time or less than 24 hours apart; OR
- He receives two negative MESA tests 24 hours after the initial swab was taken, but can be taken concurrently provided it’s two separate new swabs.
The previous policy required two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, but that has been cut down considerably with these new protocols.
If he has not received the COVID-19 vaccine and is confirmed to have tested positive, he would be required to quarantine for at least a 10-day period. If he was just a close contact, he would be required to quarantine for a five-day period. The latter is why he could still return this week even if unvaccinated.
We’ll know more as the week progresses.