BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two days after being fined by the NFL for violating its COVID-19 protocol, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie received his first vaccine shot.
McKenzie shared a photo of his vaccine card Saturday on an Instagram story as the Bills prepare to host the Green Bay Packers in both teams’ final preseason game. He was fined $14,650 on Thursday for repeatedly not wearing a mask in the team facility, as is required for unvaccinated players.
His short video showing his vaccination card was captioned, “For the greater good.”
On Friday, the Bills activated wide receiver Cole Beasley from the reserve/COVID-19 list along with teammates Gabriel Davis, Vernon Butler and Star Lotulelei.
Despite testing negative for COVID-19, all four players were placed on the reserve list after the NFL designated them close contacts of a vaccinated training staff member who tested positive for the virus Tuesday morning. Each player spent five days away from the facility, retroactive to the exposure.
Beasley also was fined for failing to wear a mask, saying he was caught during a brief walk in the team facility.
Coach Sean McDermott said that there has been “nonstop” effort from the team to educate its players and that the Bills have “done our part in educating.” McDermott said that he had heard some “positive conversations” about the vaccine after the events of the past week and that even though he respects each player’s decision, he is still staunchly in favor of players getting the vaccine.
“I’m not going to hide behind the fact that I’m passionate about doing what’s right, whether it’s COVID or anything else,” McDermott said. “I respect people’s positions in a lot of areas. Obviously this is a hot topic. There’s a lot of hot topics right now in our country. Respect is important. It doesn’t mean that I’m not passionate about my position and passionate about what I feel is the right thing to do for the greater good of this country. That, in my opinion, means getting vaccinated.”
Last week, McDermott estimated that 81% of the Bills were vaccinated.
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