Antonio Brown, 2 others suspended for COVID rule violation

NEWYORK – Antonio Brown and two other NFL players were given an immediate three-match suspension by the federation for violating COVID-19 protocol.

Widespread receiver Tampa Bay and teammate Mike Edwards were suspended on Thursday. Freelance agent John Franklin III, if signed by a team, is also ineligible to play in the next three games.

All three players accepted the disciplinary action and waive the right to appeal. The suspension is effective immediately.

The NFL Players Association, which developed the protocols in conjunction with the league, represented three players in its review of recent allegations that players misrepresented their immunization status. Brown, Edwards, a full-back, and Franklin, a defensive back who last played for the Bucs in 2019, were found to have breached protocols.

“The health and safety of our players and personnel is our top priority,” the NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement. pandemic is taking place. NFL-NFLPA together reinforces their commitment and further emphasizes the importance of strict adherence to protocols to protect the well-being of everyone involved in the NFL. ”


The Buccaneers issued a brief statement in response to the federation’s action.

“We appreciate the federation’s prompt resolution to this matter and recognize the importance of established health and safety protocols,” the statement read. “We will continue to roll out all of the coalition’s COVID-19 protocols.”

Brown joined Tampa Bay midway through last season after being suspended for eight games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He helped the Bucs win the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history.

The 33-year-old, who has 29 catches from 418 yards and four touchdowns this season, has missed the past five games with an ankle injury. He also sat out the team’s Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Bucs (8-3) are 5-0 when he plays this season, 3-3 without him.

Edwards, meanwhile, is a safe substitute, who has started two games and is a key contributor to a defense torn by injury. The third-year professional led the club with three interceptions, two of which he returned for the TDs.


The suspension comes two weeks after a Los Angeles chef told the Tampa Bay Times that Brown obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card shortly before the start of training camp in July. The newspaper reported that Steven Ruiz provided a screenshot of a text message exchange in which Brown’s girlfriend asked the player’s former live chef if he could get an injection card. strains of Johnson & Johnson or not.

When the personal chef replied he could try, the girlfriend replied, “Ab said he’ll give you $500.”

Ruiz, who also claimed Brown owed him an uncollected debt of $10,000, told the newspaper he could not find Brown’s vaccination card.

The cook added that a few weeks later, he observed two vaccine cards on the dining room table that the recipient said he had purchased for the player and his girlfriend.

The Bucs announced just before the start of the regular season that their entire squad and coaching staff were fully vaccinated.


Without specifically addressing Brown’s situation, the Bucs said two weeks ago that the team had received and reviewed completed vaccination cards from all players and “no abnormalities have been noted.”


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Huynh Nguyen

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