NFL players have until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET to opt out of the 2020 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Prior to the start of training camp, the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to a plan that allows players to opt out of the 2020 season if they are uncomfortable with the COVID-19 health protocols put in place. High-risk individuals could opt out and receive a $350,000 stipend, whereas those less at risk would receive a $150,000 stipend. Players also have the ability to opt out later in the season in the event that a family member becomes sick.
There are two ways an NFL player can opt out of the 2020 season after Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
- A new diagnosis reveals that the player has a high-risk condition
- A player’s family member dies, is hospitalized or is otherwise moved to a medical facility because of a COVID-19 or related condition.
As of Tuesday morning, 45 NFL players have already opted out of the 2020 season. Here’s the list of players who have made the decision to opt out. No team has had more players opt out than the Patriots. On Sunday, tight end Matt LaCosse became the eighth Patriots player to opt out for the 2020 season. Running back Brandon Bolden, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, safety Patrick Chung, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, receiver Marqise Lee, offensive lineman Najee Toran, and fullback Danny Vitale are the other Patriots that have opted out for the upcoming season.
Over 75 players have already been placed on the NFL’s recently-formed reserve/COVID-19 list. This list includes players who either tested positive for the virus or who have been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons. If a player falls into either category, their team is required to immediately place the player on the list. Teams are not permitted, per the agreed-upon NFL-NFLPA policy, to comment on player’s medical status other than referring to roster cuts. Furthermore, teams may not disclose whether a player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19.
Shortly after the start of training camp, Eagles coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COIVD-19, and will have to wait a minimum of five days before he can return to the team. Assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley will take over the reins in place of Pederson.