Five days before the Buffalo Bills will be playing their biggest game of the 2021 season, wide receiver Cole Beasley will not be able to participate.
Beasley was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday afternoon, and as he has made perfectly clear for months, he is not vaccinated. Unless that has changed, which seems unlikely given his steadfast stance on the issue, Beasley will be out the minimum 10 days per NFL COVID protocols.
Meaning, when the Bills take the field at Gillette Stadium Sunday in a game against the New England Patriots that could decide the AFC East division title, they won’t have their second-leading receiver with 76 catches for 640 yards.
This, of course, has been a fear all season. Beasley is a key member of the offense, but he was always going to be in danger of missing playing time due to his refusal to take the shot.
Cole Beasley looks for extra yards on one of his ten catches.
Now, his unavailability couldn’t come at a worse time for the Bills.
Beasley plays a huge role for quarterback Josh Allen because there are so many times when Beasley wins quickly on a route and gives Allen a reliable target on third-down plays. Now, one would expect that Isaiah McKenzie is going to have to play the slot receiver position while Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis line up outside.
Of course, the Bills are probably going to be without receiver Emmanuel Sanders for the second game in a row as he suffered a knee injury in the loss to Tampa Bay.
As the new Omicron variant is sweeping through the world, the NFL has not been spared and it is causing major roster problems for many teams. The Bills are beginning to feel the wrath.
Last week they lost offensive lineman Dion Dawkins and Jon Feliciano – both of whom are vaccinated – prior to the Carolina game, which the Bills won 31-14.
Monday, defensive end A.J. Epenesa – who missed that game with an ankle injury – tested positive for COVID and went on the reserve list. It is unknown whether he’s vaccinated, but…