The Bills got destroyed by the Colts last Sunday. The Colts physically dominated the Bills on both sides of the LOS. Many are pointing to the absence of the Bill's best run defender, Star, and best run blocker, Brown, as reasons the Bill's got manhandled.
I agree the absence of Brown and Lotulelei hurt the Bills against the Colts. Undoubtedly, Star would have helped the Bill's run D and Brown's presence would have strengthened the entire right side of the O line. While their absence was missed, their message, and the message of many other Bills seems to have been heard by the entire locker room.
Their message is that they, as individuals, matter more than the team. They, as have other Bills including Gabe Davis and Beasley, made it clear that they would rather increase their chances of missi ng key football Games rather than get the Covid vaccine. As members of the NFLPA, It is their right to choose whether or not to get the vaccine. They did not violate any emplyment rule or obligation.
But Brown and Lotoulei chose to put self over team when most teammates got vaccinated, many with some concerns or questions about the necessity of the vaccine for young fit athletes. Locker rooms police themselves. Players know who works hard in the weight room and who mails it in. They dont tolerate those who dog it and say " I know my body" as an excuse for missing practice or taking it easy in the weight room. They know when locker rooms are committed to winning and they know when they are not. The choice made by Loutulelei And Brown and their subsequent absence from the Colts game screams of a locker room committed to self over team.
The choice of self over team shows up In how the Bills play the game. Late hits, false starts, and personal fouls are now common place. Defenders baited into leaving their gaps/ assignment to make a play (See Oliver Pulled up field unblocked and trapped) are now the norm. The lack of intensity and fight when punched is this years trend. These trends start when players have a self over team attitude, and that attitude was voiced loudly by Beasley and spread firmly throughout the locker Room. That attitude weakened the fabric of the team after all, why did Diggs, for example, take the vaccine to Increase his chances of being able to play each game and protect his teammates when others would not show the same commitment to the team and him? Those choices create divisions, which are destructive to a team. I believe the Bills may now be reaping what grows when the seeds of self over team are planted in an locker room.
Whether one chose to be vaccinated or not, it is inarguable that the choice creates divisions. Simply read the comments of any Covid vaccine related post for confirmation!