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Bucs Issue Statement After Claim Antonio Brown Obtained Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Card

The Buccaneers released a statement on Thursday stating the franchise received completed vaccination cards from all players during the offseason and submitted all necessary information to the NFL. 

Tampa Bay's statement comes after Bucs wide receiver Antonio Brown was accused of obtaining a fake COVID-19 vaccination card from his former live-in chef, Steven Ruiz.

"After an extensive educational process conducted throughout our organization this past offseason highlighting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines, we received completed vaccination cards from all Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and submitted the required information to the NFL through the established process in accordance with league policy," the statement read. "All vaccination cards were reviewed by Buccaneers personnel and no irregularities were observed."

While no issues were reported by Buccaneers personnel, Ruiz shared several conversations through text messages that he had with Brown's girlfriend Cydney Moreau according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The messages revealed that Moreau asked Ruiz if he could obtain the fake COVID-19 vaccination card. However, Moreau reportedly denied knowing or being in communication with Ruiz per the Times

Ruiz stopped working for Brown after a dispute over a debt of $10,000.

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Brown's attorney, Sean Burstyn, confirmed to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport the Pro Bowl wideout was vaccinated. However, according to The Athletic's Greg Auman, Burstyn did not have proper documentation present to confirm Brown's vaccination status. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that any team personnel or players using a forged fake vaccination card would be reviewed under the NFL's personal conduct policy. It would be a federal criminal offense. 

Earlier in the season, Brown received a positive COVID-19 test, forcing him to miss the Bucs' game against the Rams in Week 3. Following his test, per league protocol, he was subject to the full 10-day period.

Brown has missed the team's last three games due to a foot injury. 

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