Vaccination status could matter as final cuts for Bills loom

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Brandon Beane doesn’t need to cut his roster down to 53 until August 31.

The Buffalo Bills released five players on Tuesday, the second wave of preseason cuts, to reduce its roster to 81 players. Beane doesn’t know the current percentage of players vaccinated due to the recent roster moves. He estimates it to be near or under the 80% threshold.

Beane was chastised by the NFL for comments made about cutting players due to vaccination status in the spring. Beane was asked if he would consider cutting an unvaccinated player if it meant the team could lift or loosen NFL COVID-19 protocols restricting in-person meetings.

“Yes I would,” Beane said on the team-sponsored One Bills Live in May.

Beane was later notified by the league he may not cut a player solely due to vaccination status. Beane said it would be an advantage to cut a player to fall under the lesser restrictions.

Tuesday, the Bills, faced their first COIVD situation this season where it impacted multiple players. A trainer tested positive and four starters were deemed close contacts. Vernon Butler, Star Lotulelei, Gabriel Davis, and Cole Beasley are now out for up to five days.

Beane was once again asked how vaccination status could impact how he builds his roster.

“Yeah I mean you do have to try and look at everything,” Beane said. “It’s hard. I’m not going to get boxed in, to what I said in the spring but it’s tough. We’re trying to figure it out and we’ll try to have as many answers as we can if and when this does happen in the season. That’s probably the best I can answer.”

If a player chooses to get vaccinated now they would need two weeks to be considered fully vaccinated. That’s if they opt for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and not multiple dosages like Pfizer.

If a player makes that decision they would be fully vaccinated from one shot for the season opener on Sept. 12.

“They’re all pretty well educated,” Beane said. “It’s an independent personal decision. That’s really where it is. It’s not a mandatory thing that’s agreed upon by the league and the union.”

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