Tampa, Fla. Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians wants the NFL to expand its investigation into the COVID-19 vaccination status of two of his team’s players to include other rosters around the league.
Responding publicly for the first time to the league’s suspension of wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards for three games for misrepresenting their status with fake immunization cards, Arians said Friday, which has may not be the only case of their kind in the league.
Arians said after practice: “The league has done a thorough due diligence and we will continue. “I will not deal with these people for the next three weeks. They will just be working and we will deal with their future at that point. Other than that, there’s really nothing to say.”
The third player, former Bucs recipient John Franklin III, was also given a three-game ban. He was cut in training camp and is currently a free agent.
Arians said the Super Bowl defending champions have done as well a job as any team has managed the coronavirus pandemic over the past two seasons.
He added the club had fully cooperated with the federation investigation launched last month after a personal chef who had worked for Brown told the Tampa Bay Times that the recipient had obtained a fake vaccination card. before reporting to the training camp.
“This is a failure because of what happened, but we have done an incredible job. We didn’t have an outbreak in a location room, so I’m very happy with that part,” said Arians.
Asked if he thinks there might be an issue with the vaccination status of other players around the league, the coach replied, “possibly.”
“That’s what it is,” said Arians. “We did everything. I mean, everything. There is so much more to that story. I just hope they don’t stop looking.”
Brown, who has missed the past five games with an ankle injury and is likely to be sidelined for the next two, lost a little more than $181,000 during his suspension. The Bucs are on 5-0 with him in the lineup this season, 3-3 without.
Discipline will cost Edwards, a substitute leading the team with three interceptions, about $141,000.
In addition to sitting out Sunday’s game in Atlanta, the pair will miss the next two weeks’ home games against Buffalo and New Orleans. Brown and Edwards will be eligible to return December 26 against the Carolina Panthers.
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https://www.ksat.com/sports/2021/12/03/arians-urges-nfl-look-at-vaccination-status-of-more-teams/ Arians urges NFL to review vaccination status of more teams