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Buccaneers’ Antonio Brown among 3 players suspended for vaccine scandal

Buccaneers, Antonio Brown

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers splashed onto the news cycle on Thursday. Star wide receiver Antonio Brown is one of three players suspended for breaking COVID-19 protocols. He will be unavailable for his team while Tampa Bay continues to fight for a playoff position.

According to Ian Rapoport, Antonio Brown and Mike Edwards have both “been suspended without pay for the next three games for misrepresenting their vaccination status under the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocol.” This is a rather big loss for the Buccaneers, as they lose two impactful players for three games.

In addition to Brown and Edwards, “free agent John Franklin III” has been suspended for three games as well, per Mike Garafolo. Franklin is not on a roster for now but will serve a three-game suspension if signed to a roster. Although he is not on the Buccaneers, it appears Franklin was involved in the scandal.

Field Yates breaks down the Buccaneers’ timetable of when they can expect Antonio Brown back in the rotation. The three-game suspension will be costly for Brown, as he will lose $183K in salary.

Not long ago, Antonio Brown was accused of purchasing a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. A personal chef who Brown had not paid, shared the information with news media, putting the Buccaneers’ star receiver on blast. At first, the NFL and NFLPA didn’t find anything suspicious. However, it sounds like the accusations are true.

Antonio Brown is currently dealing with an injury that is going to sideline him for two games. For the Buccaneers, it’s not that big of a loss for now, as they already were planning on not having him available. If anything, this buys Brown more time to get healthy for Tampa Bay’s playoff run. However, Brown likely isn’t too happy for the lack of pay these next three weeks.

Either way, Brown, Edwards, and Franklin are not available for three games, as they attempted to cheat the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.