Buffalo Bills wide receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis will miss the next five days of practice after being deemed close contacts of a team trainer who tested positive for COVID-19, a league source confirmed Tuesday. Defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is also in quarantine, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
All three tested negative for the virus Tuesday morning but must miss practice anyway, per the NFL’s COVID-19 policy. The trainer is fully vaccinated, a source told Schefter.
The NFL’s policy, which heavily restricts unvaccinated players while allowing a return to near normalcy for vaccinated players, sparked criticism from Beasley in June, when he tweeted that he was not vaccinated and would continue to “live my one life like I want.”
The NFL policies include more frequent testing, masks and social distancing in the team facility and during team travel for unvaccinated players. It also requires unvaccinated players to stay away from the team for five days if they are deemed close contacts with someone who test positive for COVID-19; vaccinated players do not have to quarantine if they are a close contact.
It was the frequency of testing, however, that Beasley was most critical of: Unvaccinated players are tested daily under the policy governing preseason and training camp, while vaccinated players are required to test only every two weeks.
“It’s common sense that if a vaxxed or unvaxxed player is tested less frequently, the likelihood of a player being pulled for COVID drops dramatically,” Beasley said. “In regard to player safety, I’ll conclude by saying we all want to be safe.”
Beasley was the Bills’ second-leading receiver in 2020, recording 967 yards on 82 catches — both career highs. Meanwhile, Davis’ seven receiving touchdowns were good for second most on the team during his rookie year last season.
Lotulelei opted out of the 2020 season, calling his decision the “best decision for myself and my wife and kids” considering the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.