There are now 19 teams whose players say they will not report to voluntary offseason NFL workouts unless the league institutes COVID-19 protocols.
The list has been growing since Tuesday when Denver Broncos players announced they will not show up to voluntary, in-person workouts. They released a statement through the NFL Players Association and half the league followed suit in the days that followed.
19 teams of players will not report to voluntary workouts
The Philadelphia Eagles became the 19th team on Sunday morning when their players announced through the NFLPA they would not be attending. The 19 teams are 59 percent of the 32 teams in the league.
“We know that every player has to make a decision that is best for him, but to stand in solidarity with the brotherhood of players across the NFL, we have decided to come together on this choice.
“The ongoing pandemic is obviously still an issue for our city and our country, and it is unnecessary for us to put ourselves at risk in this environment. We also know what the data shows about our overall health and safety.”
The current list of teams as it stands at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday is as follows:
Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Rams, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens.
NFL offseason schedule
Broncos players led by NFLPA rep Brandon McManus and star safety Justin Simmons crafted their statement on a call Monday night. There is concern among players about how the NFL is treating COVID-19 procedures and safety. Voluntary in-person workouts were not held last summer in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020.
The NFL has indicated its expectation that players return to regularly scheduled programming even amidst the pandemic. Teams typically have voluntary workouts in April ahead of the NFL draft and in May following the draft. The mandatory workout is in June.
The league announced last week that it told all 32 teams that Tier 1 and 2 employees (which does not count players) should “expect “to be vaccinated unless they have a bona fide medical or religious ground for not doing so.”
Any employee who refuses sans exemption won’t have access to restricted areas of the facility and cannot work directly with players.
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