There's trouble brewing in Buffalo, it would appear. News came through earlier this week that four Buffalo Bills players have had to isolate themselves for five days as per the NFL's COVID-19 protocols after they came in contact with an individual who tested positive for the virus.
The players in question are Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler. It has since come to light that Isaiah McKenzie was also fined for flouting the mask mandate despite being unvaccinated.
So far, the Buffalo Bills management will hope that the worst has passed in the pre-season and the players will learn their lessons for the regular season. A little hopeful, considering Cole Beasley's the flag-bearer of the anti-vaxx movement in the NFL.
The effects of the COVID protocols on the Buffalo Bills' Super Bowl chances
All the players who were found to be in breach of COVID protocols have shown no inclination to get vaccinated, a move that would allow them to move more freely in and around the facilities.
Instead, people like Cole Beasley have doubled down on their resistance to the idea. He put forward a theory that seemed to suggest getting the vaccination would lead him to silently infect other people, which is not how vaccines work.
So, if the players refuse to get vaccinated, how much does it compromise the Buffalo Bills' Super Bowl chances? After all, they reached the AFC Championship last year. This is the year to go one step futher.
The answer is that such shenanigans could significantly compromise the Buffalo Bills' chances of winning the Lombardi Trophy. A look at the four players having to stay away for five days will show two wide receivers and two defensive tackles. They all came in contact with a trainer who tested positive.
Generally, when football teams are training, the reps of a particular position happen together. Thus, you have blocks of people coming in contact with the same person. If this happens during the regular season, the entire unvaccinated corps of a particular position might have to isolate. Thus, the depth of the roster in that position will not matter at all.
This could lead to forfeiture or blowout losses that hurt the chances of the Buffalo Bills getting an easier ride to the playoffs, all the way to the Super Bowl.
So for any Buffalo Bills player who wants to win the ring this year, the ideal solution is to get vaccinated, failing which, even small indiscretions could have a significant impact on their designs to win it all.