Buffalo Bills activate wide receiver Cole Beasley from COVID-19 list

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills activated wide receiver Cole Beasley from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday along with teammates Gabriel Davis, Vernon Butler and Star Lotulelei.

Despite testing negative for the COVID-19 virus, all four players were placed on the list after the NFL designated them close contacts of a vaccinated training staff member who tested positive for the virus Tuesday morning. Each player spent five days away from the facility, retroactive to their exposure.

Beasley also said he was fined $16,650 for failing to wear a mask during a brief walk within the team facility. Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was also fined the same amount for repeatedly not wearing a mask inside the facility, as is required for unvaccinated players, per NFL policy.

The league's COVID-19 protocols require unvaccinated players to quarantine for five days if they are deemed close contacts of anyone who tests positive for the virus. Beasley has been one of the most vocal opponents of the protocols -- particularly the frequency of testing.

"It's common sense that if a vaxxed or unvaxxed player is tested less frequently, the likelihood of a player being pulled for COVID drops dramatically," Beasley said. "In regard to player safety, I'll conclude by saying we all want to be safe."

Beasley was the Bills' second-leading receiver in 2020, recording 967 yards on 82 catches -- both career highs. Meanwhile, Davis' seven receiving touchdowns were good for second most on the team during his rookie year last season. Butler enters his second season with the Bills in 2021, while Lotulelei enters his fourth -- although he opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.