UPDATE: Starting linebacker Matt Milano and reserve A.J. Klein have also been sent home due to COVID-19 close contacts, per Pat Leonard.
The Buffalo Bills are working on getting more of their players vaccinated, with “just over 80 percent” having at least one shot as of August 15. Two players that appear to remain unvaccinated are wide receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis. The two players tested negative Tuesday morning, but were later sent home and must undergo a 5-day reentry process as close contacts to a member of team’s training staff who tested positive for COVID-19, per Pat Leonard.
Beasley has previously been outspoken with his thoughts about COVID-19 and the vaccine. He has grown defensive in speaking out against a vaccine that has since officially received full FDA approval for the Pfizer version, with the Moderna version expected to follow.
This follows word that New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has to sit out five days as well due to some kind of miscommunication around testing. He faces a QB competition with Mac Jones and this missed time gives Jones an edge he might not otherwise have had.
Most of the NFL has received at least one shot, with 90 percent of players having received at least one shot as of July 30. The unvaccinated are a minority, but Beasley, Davis, and Newton are showing how this can have a significant impact. Newton could lose his job in part because of it. Beasley is a solid slot receiver, while Davis is competing for a fourth receiver opportunity behind Beasley, Stefon Diggs, and Emmanuel Sanders. He is probably going to make the team, but if you are not locked into a top three spot, you are likely on the bubble to some degree. Missing practice and the potential to miss time later in the season by remaining unvaccinated do not bode well for his roster chances.