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.
A statement from the New England Patriots players: pic.twitter.com/1gl84knZrS— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 14, 2021
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.
The NFL has laid out its plan for a three-phase offseason program. From a memo to teams today:— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 14, 2021
Apr 19-May 14: All virtual meetings, weight rooms open
May 17-21: No contact on-field drills allowed, meetings still virtual
May 24-June 18: Ten OTA days plus a mandatory minicamp
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.