Patriots join teams skipping voluntary offseason workouts
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks onto the field during organized team activities at Gillette Stadium practice field.  Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots join list of teams skipping voluntary offseason workouts

Multiple NFL teams are skipping voluntary workouts that are set to begin April 19. The New England Patriots joined that list on Wednesday, citing COVID-19 concerns.

The Denver Broncos became the first club to opt out Tuesday, also citing concerns over a lack of "adequate protocols" to return safely amid the ongoing pandemic. The Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions also released similar statements. 

NFLPA president J.C. Tretter and executive director DeMaurice Smith stated their desire to eliminate all in-person work before training camp, including mandatory minicamp, in a memo to players on Tuesday.

The NFL then sent out a memo on Wednesday setting a three-phase schedule for a nine-week offseason program, adding that minicamp is mandatory. 

All players, and everyone in the United States, for that matter, will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 19. It's unclear which players will opt to get vaccinated. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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