Players Withdraw from 2020 NFL Season Amid Coronavirus Concerns

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So far, over 60 players have opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The deadline players were giving for opting out of the season was August 6 at 4 P.M. ET. According to an NFL spokesperson, 66 out of 2,880 players decided to opt-out. This number could possibly be higher, with NBC’s Pro Football Talk and CBS reporting the figure was 67 players in total.

The New England Patriots are the team that’s been most affected so far, with eight of their players opting out of the 2020 season. The Patriots have lost two significant defensive starters in linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung, who have both won three Super Bowls with the franchise.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman and practicing doctor Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to opt-out of the 2020 season.

“Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system.” said Duvernay-Tardif in a Twitter post. “I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”

Players considered high risk for COVID-19 and provided proof to their team can earn $350,000 as a salary advance and an accrued NFL season if they choose to opt-out. These high-risk players will be able to retain their health insurance. Players without risk can earn a $150,000 salary advance and their contract will toll for next year. They also get to retain their health insurance, but will not earn a credited or accrued season.

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