Wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley were both fined $14,650 for violating the league’s safety protocols on Thursday and earlier this week a Bills trainer that worked with Beasley tested positive for coronavirus, forcing him into a five-day entry process.
McDermott spoke to reporters later that day to express his frustrations, pointing out the risks his team potentially faces when the season starts.
"Very frustrating… very frustrating," he said, via USA Today. "There’s people’s livelihoods at stake in terms of, you know, people’s jobs, people’s performances… is judged off of wins and losses or how well a person does ‘X’ or ‘Y’ and some of that is dependent upon other members of the team."
He continued: "If this were a real [regular season] week, having the players out that we’ve had, that makes it hard to win games that way. That’s the competitive piece of this."
McKenzie took to Twitter to reveal that he had been fined for failing to wear a mask. The letter from the NFL showed that McKenzie is not fully vaccinated and detailed all the times the wide receiver didn’t wear his mask."
Beasley, who was out this week after being deemed a close contact of a fully vaccinated trainer who tested positive, replied to the tweet, confirming that he too had been fined.
"Don’t worry they got me too. But I was wearing a mask when I was in close contact with fully vaxxed trainer who tested positive and still got sent home. So what’s the point of the mask anyways? Meanwhile I’m here still testing negative and can’t come back. Make it make sense," his tweet read.
The NFL essentially lifted all restrictions for vaccinated players, but a memo from the NFLPA earlier this month said it would recommend daily testing for all players and staff due to the rise in cases and the delta variant.
Teammate Jonathan Feliciano supported the suggestion of increasing daily testing for all players in light of the fines.
"We repeatedly see vax ppl get covid and get other ppl sick regardless of their vax status. If us vax ppl were getting tested more frequently (like pa asked) than we could avoid situations like we are in. Just because some ppl aren’t vax shouldn’t mean we treat them as a pos."
ESPN’s Chirs Mortensen reported Thursday that the league is recommending weekly testing, as opposed to every 14 days, for vaccinated players.
"If it’s not every day then it’s still not enough," Beasley replied on Twitter.