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NFL Players Skipping Voluntary Workouts over COVID Safety Concerns

A majority of players on the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Detroit Lions now say they plan to skip voluntary in-person workouts this spring due to concerns regarding COVID-19.

The Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have previously agreed not to participate in in-person workouts this offseason, continuing the tensions between the NFL players and the league.

“Players remain unclear about the protocols and protections, and rules remain inconsistent, despite the last minute communication by the NFL yesterday,” the NFL Players Association said in a statement Thursday on behalf of Bears players.

Courtesy of NFLPA Twitter.

“We felt healthier both physically and mentally, which we attribute to sufficient recovery time and the lack of additional wear and tear on our bodies during the spring months,” the NFLPA said on behalf of Browns players. “The league-wide injury data supports us as well, as NFL players experienced a 23% reduction in missed-time injuries last season.”

Courtesy of NFLPA Twitter.

The Detroit Lions and the New England Patriots claim that “many of us” would not be participating in the workouts due to rising COVID-19 numbers and their own personal health and safety.

Courtesy of NFLPA Twitter.

The Lions also referenced their home state of Michigan, which they say, “continues to get hit hard by the pandemic.”

Courtesy of NFLPA Twitter.

The league has said it will not mandate vaccines for players, but will strongly encourage players to get their shots as soon as they are eligible.

The Athletic reports the NFL’s offseason program ― sent to teams on Wednesday in a memo — will include more than a month of virtual meetings, followed by five weeks of on-field work that will include 10 voluntary practices and a three-day mandatory minicamp.

Written by Megan Turner

Meg graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

11 Comments

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  1. Sounds more like they didn’t want to do it and COVID is a good excuse.

    I actually don’t blame them in this case. I always tend to think unless you are in the top 10 QB realm those ‘Voluntary’ workouts are mandatory for the players lower on the totem pole.

  2. I guess if they’re voluntary they’re voluntary. But quit lying. World class athletes in top shape who have an IQ of 80 or above are not worried about getting covid. They all hated these workouts and tried to get out of them way before covid. We have a pandemic going on in this country worse than covid: LYING.

  3. I really think players need to be able to break away from the game to reset and rest mind and body.

    as i write this, i’m watching Tom Brady conduct a ‘do because i said so’ practice here in st pete, with his team of Winners 😜

    secret location 😏

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