Weeks after reports emerged that Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Antonio Brown used a fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination card to circumvent certain NFL health and safety protocols that he allegedly obtained from a teammate, the NFL suspended both Brown and Tampa Bay safety Mike Edwards for three games without pay on Thursday after the league determined they purposely misrepresented their vaccination statuses.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was visibly annoyed to find himself discussing the subject Friday ahead of Sunday's matchup at the Atlanta Falcons.
"Obviously we have two guys suspended," Arians remarked during his press conference, per Grant Gordon of the NFL's website. "The league did their due diligence and we move on. I will not address those guys for the next three weeks. They'll just be working out and we'll address their future at that time. Other than that, there's really nothing to say."
ESPN's Jenna Laine notes that Arians added: "It pisses me off."
Brown has been sidelined since he first suffered an ankle injury on Oct. 14 and was expected to miss at least another two contests before his suspension. Edwards, meanwhile, has a knee injury.
Free-agent receiver John Franklin III was also suspended for three games on Thursday. The Buccaneers waived him in August.
A different Thursday report said Brown and Edwards are now legitimately vaccinated against the coronavirus. It's unknown if that will benefit their cases assuming they want to remain with the Buccaneers through another playoff run.