Buccaneers’ Antonio Brown, 2 others suspended for 3 games for COVID-19 protocol violations

NFL

FILE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown reacts after making a catch against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game in Tampa, Fla., in this Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, file photo. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards have both been suspended without pay for violating NFL COVID-19 protocols, the league announced on Tuesday.

Brown and Edwards will each miss three games. Brown has been out since suffering an ankle injury in Week 6, and was already expected to miss the next two weeks.

A third player, free agent John Franklin III, also faces discipline for violating protocols if he signs with a team.

All three players have accepted the discipline and waived their right of appeal, according to the NFL. The suspensions are effective immediately.

Brown was accused of buying a face vaccination card.

The NFL Players Association represented the three players during a joint NFL-NFLPA review into the recent allegations that players misrepresented their vaccination status under the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocols. That review supported those allegations and found that the three players violated the protocols, the NFL said.

The NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement: “The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority. The protocols were jointly developed working with our respective experts to ensure that we are practicing and playing football as safely as possible during the ongoing pandemic. The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL.”

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