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3 NFL Players Suspended for Misrepresenting Vaccine Status

Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards, and John Franklin III are out for 3 games
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2021 1:01 AM CST
Antonio Brown, 2 Others Suspended for Violating NFL's COVID Protocols
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Oct. 14, 2021, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown, his teammate Mike Edwards, and free agent John Franklin III have been suspended by the NFL for violating the football league's COVID-19 protocols. The three players will be ineligible to play for three weeks and won't be paid, USA Today reports. The league said in a statement they "misrepresented their vaccination status" and that a review by itself and the players' union "supported those allegations and found that the three players violated the protocols." The Tampa Bay Times reported earlier this month that Brown had obtained a fake vaccination card to skirt the protocols, but the league has not specifically confirmed that.

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"We appreciate the League's timely handling of this matter and recognize the importance of the healthy and safety protocols that have been established," said the Bucs in a statement. Team coach Bruce Arians had said before the start of the season that 100% of his players were vaccinated. The players accepted the discipline and won't appeal, and a source tells ESPN they are all now vaccinated. At least two opinion columns were out Thursday night calling for the Bucs to release Brown, one at the Tampa Bay Times and the other at CBS Sports. (Read more Antonio Brown stories.)

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