Earlier on Friday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive tackle Donovan Smith took to Instagram to voice concerns about participating in the 2020 NFL season amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL Players Association does not yet have protection for Smith or any others who would stay home.
On Friday, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's MMQB tweeted information that NFLPA Senior Director of Player Affairs Don Davis shared with players during a call.
Davis said no agreements currently exist regarding players who would opt-out of returning to clubs, if the coronavirus will be deemed a "football injury," or when players must report for camps:
NFLPA's Don Davis ran thru outstanding issues in return-to-work on player call today. He told the group ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 10, 2020
• No agreement yet on opt-outs.
• No agreement on camp report date.
• Joint RTW committee wants 6-wk ramp-up.
• No agreement on waiver or COVID as "football injury".
Davis said that 6-week ramp-up would be leading into the first game, whether it's a preseason game or the opener. Meaning, you'd have to cancel the preseason to make it work for the opener, or push the opener back to accommodate the preseason.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 10, 2020
Or shorten the ramp-up period.
Unsurprisingly, Davis added negotiations are ongoing, meaning everything on the existing NFL schedule is subject to change:
Re: Camp report date, the CBA dictates that it's 47 days before each team's opener. But given that they're negotiating things anew for this season in particular, that leaves the report date open for negotiation.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 10, 2020
And per the NFLPA's Don Davis, it remains that way.
Major League Soccer, MLB, the NBA, NHL, and National Women's Soccer League all provided athletes with varying opt-out protocols for return-to-play formats. Considering the NFL/NFLPA collective bargaining agreement reportedly has no "force majeure" clause, players who wish to sit will look to still receive paychecks.