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If it comes down to it this fall, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he would cut a player from his roster if he hasn’t received his COVID-19 vaccine.
Doing so, he said, is another way to give his team a leg up.
“Yeah, I would [cut them], because it would be an advantage,” he said Wednesday on the team’s radio show, via the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
'There's going to be some incentives' to get vaccinated
Beane is right. From a logistical standpoint, having a fully vaccinated team (or close to it), is definitely an advantage. Though the NFL hasn’t specified rules and procedures for vaccinated teams yet for the season, other leagues have relaxed rules for teams that have a certain amount of players and staff vaccinated.
The NBA, for example, significantly relaxed its rules for players when teams have at least 85% of players and staff fully vaccinated — which allows them to eat at restaurants on the road, have family and friends visit them freely and more.
The NFL will likely implement similar rules for the season, which would make practices, team meetings and more easier to manage.
“I think there’s going to be some incentives, if you have ‘X number percent of your players and staff vaccinated, you can live normal, let’s just call it, back to the old days,’ ” he said, via the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
“If you don’t, it’s going to look more like last year. Social distant meetings, encourage meetings to be virtual, mask in the building, maybe even mask on the sideline, who knows. A lot of that is still to be determined. I hope that if those are the rules, that we’ll be able to get enough people vaccinated and not have to deal with all the headaches.”
The Bills are among several teams already planning to have full fan capacity for games this season, though the team announced last month that fans will only be allowed in if they are fully vaccinated.
The NFL has already pushed staff members to get vaccinated, too. Those who do not, it said, won’t be eligible to be Tier 1 or Tier 2 employees — meaning their access in team facilities will be significantly restricted.
While it’s still not been announced how the NFL will handle it this fall, Beane is hoping for significant incentives for teams to get vaccinated.
And, without even knowing what they are yet, he’s ready to make sure that the Bills get those incentives — even if that means cutting a player from the team.
“These meetings [last year] were not as productive as before,” Beane said, via the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “I mean, you guys saw it in the fieldhouse. We had three and four meetings going on, and sometimes you’re talking over each other, but it was the only way to pull it off and be socially distant, so it would be an advantage to cut a player and fall under that umbrella.”
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