Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards, suspended by NFL for COVID-19 protocol violations

An important aspect of this process is Edwards’ and Brown’s accepting of the suspensions without appeal.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY TORI RICHMAN/TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Photo by Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Y’all might want to strap yourselves in, because this one is a doozy.

The NFL handed out 3-game suspensions to Antonio Brown and Mike Edwards Thursday afternoon, saying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver and safety violated the league's  COVID-19 protocol.

The NFL said the suspensions were handed out because the players were “misrepresenting their vaccination status.

This is all comes after Antonio Brown’s former personal chef accused the wide receiver of providing a fake vaccination card to clear the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols as a vaccinated player.

This decision is going to be put under a microscope, especially after the NFL's decision not to suspend Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. While Rodgers never lied directly to the NFL, he did at least “mislead” the general public about his vaccination status, and the NFL’s failure to act upon this knowledge while the quarterback continued to violate COVID protocols is just another notch in the NFL’s belt of inept and incompetent decision making when it comes to important issues.

But again, Rodgers never directly lied to the league, only to the public, so it’s all good in Roger Goodell’s neighborhood.

The Bucs also released a statement stating that the team “appreciate the league’s timely handling of this matter.” The Bucs make no reference to any wrongdoing by either player and fail to address anything that actually happened. That might be because the Bucs also released a statement when the Brown vaccine allegations surfaced (I have to specify which allegations in reference to Brown because he’s also been accused of sexual assault) saying that “after an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organization” they did not find any “irregularities.”

Antonio Brown’s lawyer also released a statement maintaining the receiver’s vaccination status and his support for people getting the vaccine.

While there are many issues and considerations to think about, one that may go under the radar is the fact that Tom Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero, took the pictures of Brown’s vaccine card, and the Bucs reviewed this information and determined the card was valid. Are Guerrero and the Bucs unable to differentiate between real and fake vaccine cards? Can anybody tell the damn difference between them? Or was “Dr.” Guerrero aware of this and thinking that his miracle drug “Supreme Greens” would solve any problems Brown might have from COVID?

Another important aspect of this process is Edwards’ and Brown’s accepting the suspensions without appeal. Does this mean they both know they are guilty and simply don’t want the NFL to look any further into these issues? Or is it simply because Brown is still recovering from an ankle injury and wasn’t likely to play these games anyways? Brown’s attorney claims in the statement he simply wanted to avoid the “drawn out and distracting process of challenging the outcome.”

Brown has also obviously had his own share of problems, and another interesting thought to ponder is how the Bucs will handle his roster spot. Head coach Bruce Arians emphasized a “zero-tolerance” policy in regards to Brown’s off-the-field behavior last season when the Bucs first signed Brown, saying, “He’s been a model citizen. If and when he’s not, we’ll move on. He knows that, our team knows that.”

Well, we’ll see what the Bucs do. If their past decisions made based on doing the right thing and distancing themselves from people with off-the-field issues are any indications, we’ll be seeing Brown and Edwards back on the field after their suspensions have been served.

Follow @ctbrantley12 on Twitter.

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