The Buffalo Bills added a quartet of players to the Reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week after those players were deemed to be a close contact of a member of the training staff. Though said trainer was vaccinated, the positive test result led to four unvaccinated players having to go through a five-day protocol away from the team.
If you hadn’t heard by now, those players included Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Star Lotulelei, and Vernon Butler. They were added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Comments from general manager Brandon Beane indicated that the five-day clock started ticking from the date of last exposure, which was not necessarily Tuesday. True to his word, all four were activated on Friday, a mere three days after the announcement.
On that same Tuesday, the Bills added wide receiver Rico Gafford and defensive tackle Joey Ivie. Both players were waived today with the return of the abovementioned players. Buffalo also announced that defensive tackle Treyvon Hester was placed on injured reserve.
The obvious question is why sign Gafford and Ivie? Beane would certainly have known that the four players would likely be eligible to return before tomorrow’s preseason tilt against the Green Bay Packers. Beasley, Davis, Lotulelei, and Butler were also required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to the team. With the possibility of a positive test, the Gafford/Ivie signings were likely nothing more than Beane hedging some bets.
On the flip side, this does provide us with some sorely needed positive news. While much of the protocols continue to be contentious to fans and players alike, we should all be able to celebrate the fact that this news also means all four players tested negative.