Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane told the team’s official radio program on Wednesday that vaccination status will be part of the equation for retaining players on the active roster if it means they can return to their normal ways of conducting meetings and practices. You can listen to his full interview on the Buffalo Bills website (starting at the 14:10 mark).
While discussing the modifications the team had to make a year ago, Beane elaborated on what he thinks will happen this fall.
“I think it’s going to be if you have x number of your players and staff vaccinated, you can live normal. Let’s just call it ‘back to the old days’. If you don’t, it’s going to look more like last year; social distant meetings with encouraging meetings to be virtual, mask in the building, maybe even mask on the sideline,” said Beane. “A lot of that is still to be determined, but I hope if those are the rules that we’ll be able to get enough people vaccinated and not have to deal with all the headaches.”
Co-host Steve Tasker asked if they were one player away from the ratio of being normal, “Would you just cut a guy that’s not vaccinated?”
Chris Brown, the other host interjected with a laughing “wow”, but Beane answered quickly.
“Yeah, I would [cut a guy to get back to normal], because it would be an advantage,” said Beane. “We’re laughing but these meetings were not as productive as before. You guys saw it in the field house; we’d have three and four meetings going on and sometimes you’re talking over each other.”
To put a button on the answer, he reaffirmed his statement.
“It would be an advantage to cut a player and fall under that umbrella,” said Beane about getting to a certain percentage of vaccinated players.
Teams held meetings in their practice facilities to get to the minimum required spacing between individuals, but as anyone who has ever worked in a bullpen knows, it can be loud with everyone talking around you.
Beane also mentioned he hoped the stadium would be rocking with fans in the fall, knowing that vaccinations are coming through and capacity restrictions are being loosened around the state.