Former UK safety Mike Edwards one of three NFL players suspended over vaccinations

·2 min read

Former Kentucky football star Mike Edwards is one of three players suspended by the NFL for misrepresenting their vaccination status.

Edwards, a safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, along with Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and former Bucs’ receiver John Franklin were all suspended three games without pay for submitting fake vaccination cards, reports the Washington Post. All three have since been vaccinated.

A Cincinnati native, Edwards played safety at UK from 2014-18, including the Wildcats’ 2018 team that defeated Penn State in the Citrus Bowl to finish 10-3. Edwards was selected by Tampa Bay in the third round of the 2019 draft. He was a starting safety on the Bucs’ Super Bowl-winning team last season.

The NFL and NFL Players Association released a joint statement:

“The health and safety of players and personnel is our top priority. The protocols were jointly developed working with our respective experts to ensure that we are practicing and playing football as safely as possible during the ongoing pandemic. The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL.”

Tampa Bay safety Mike Edwards (32) intercepts a pass and returns it for a score this season against Atlanta. Edwards has been suspended for three games.
Tampa Bay safety Mike Edwards (32) intercepts a pass and returns it for a score this season against Atlanta. Edwards has been suspended for three games.

The Bucs also released a statement:

“We appreciate the league’s timely handling of this matter and recognize the importance of the health and safety protocols that have been established. We will continue to implement all league COVID-19 protocols.”

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Brown obtained and utilized a fake vaccination card, according to his former live-in chef, Steven Ruiz. The NFL began its investigation after that report.

In a game against Atlanta this season, Edwards returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

Brown and Edwards will not be eligible to return until Week 16. Franklin is currently a free agent. His suspension would begin if he was signed by another team.

According to the Tribune, Edwards’ suspension will cost him $141,666.

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