The NBA and MLB have returned to action with loads of precautions to ensure that COVID-19 is kept under control. The NFL is expected to start its 2020 season in early September but there are concerns that the league might end up abandoning this season.
NFL fans are eager to see the sport resume and life get back to normal and so are the NFL franchises. However, the players are concerned that they might be putting themselves at risk by resuming the season without getting COVID-19 fully under control.
The MLB is one example of starting the league early and not having proper protocols in place. Within a short time after resuming, over 17 players from the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19. NFL players want to ensure that they don’t face a similar challenge once the season resumes.
While the NFL has taken a lot of time to discuss the protocols that will be followed during games, the league cannot provide players with any guarantee. This is why 66 NFL players decided to opt out of this season.
So far we know that 11 wide receivers; 8 linebackers, 6 cornerbacks, 4 running backs and 3 tights ends and safeties have dropped out. There are no quarterbacks, punters or kickers who have dropped out.
The New England Patriots will be hit the hardest as their team had the most number of players opt out. As many as 8 players decided to sit out and that will significantly weaken the Patriots this season as they have already lost Tom Brady who left in free agency. The three teams that had no player drop outs are the Chargers, Falcons and the Steelers.
Arizona Cardinals: Marcus Gilbert (OT)
Atlanta Falcons: NONE
Baltimore Ravens: Andre Smith (OT), De’Anthony Thomas (WR)
Buffalo Bills: E.J. Gaines (CB), Star Lotulelei, (DT)
Carolina Panthers: Christian Miller (OLB), Jordan Mack (LB)
Cincinnati Bengals: Isaiah Prince (OT), Josh Tupou (DT)
Chicago Bears: Jordan Lucas (S), Eddie Goldman (DT)
Cleveland Browns: Malcolm Pridgeon (G), Colby Gossett (G), Andrew Billings (DT), Drew Forbes (G), Drake Dorbeck (OT)
Dallas Cowboys: Jamize Olawale (FB), Stephen Guidry (WR), Maurice Canady (CB)
Denver Broncos: Ja’Wuan James (OT), Kyle Peko (DT)
Detroit Lions: Russell Bodine (C), Geronimo Allison (WR), John Atkins (DT)
Green Bay Packers: Devin Funchess (WR)
Houston Texans: Eddie Vanderdoes (DT)
Indianapolis Colts: Marvell Tell (CB), Rolan Milligan (S), Skai Moore (LB)
Kansas City Chiefs: Lucas Niang (OT), Damien Williams (RB), Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (G)
Las Vegas Raiders: Ukeme Eligwe (LB), D.J. Killings (DB), Jeremiah Valoaga (DE)
Los Angeles Chargers: NONE
Los Angeles Rams: Chandler Brewer (OT)
Jacksonville Jaguars: Rashaan Melvin (CB), Lerentee McCray (DE/LB), Al Woods (DT)
Miami Dolphins: Albert Wilson (WR), Allen Hurns (WR)
Minnesota Vikings: Michael Pierce (DT)
New England Patriots: Matt LaCosse (TE), Marqise Lee (WR), Patrick Chung (S), Dont’a Hightower (LB), Brandon Bolden (RB), Marcus Cannon (OT), Danny Vitale (FB), Najee Toran (OL)
New Orleans Saints: Cole Wick (TE), Jason Vander Laan (TE)
New York Giants: Sam Beal (CB), Da’Mari Scott (WR), Nate Solder (LT)
New York Jets: Josh Doctson (WR), C.J. Mosley (LB), Leo Koloamatangi (OL)
Philadelphia Eagles: Marquise Goodwin (WR)
San Francisco 49ers: Shon Coleman (OL), Travis Benjamin (WR)
Seattle Seahawks: Chance Warmack (G)
Pittsburgh Steelers: NONE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brad Seaton (OT)
Tennessee Titans: Anthony McKinney (OL)
Washington Football Team: Josh Harvey-Clemons (LB), Caleb Brantley (DL)
Free agents: Larry Warford (G)
Players Say Difficult Decision To Make
The players who dropped out said that it was a very difficult decision for them to make as on one side they had an obligation to their teams and teammates but on the other side they had to consider their families and do what was they thought was best for them. The decision to not play the season will also result in these players losing out financially.
Players who have a medical reason for dropping out will be entitled to a stipend of $350,000 while those players who dropped out voluntarily will get a $150,000 advance against their future salaries.