In mid-July, Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews told reporters he was planning to play amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic even though he suffers from diabetes and is high-risk for COVID-19.
As noted by ESPN's Jamison Hensley, Andrews explained his decision while speaking with reporters on Monday.
"Opting out never really crossed my mind. Obviously, I think safety is the most important thing. Seeing what the NFLPA and the NFL has come up with and the system, it's extremely encouraging. I think they have a great system in place. For me, it was never 'I'm going to opt out' or 'I may not play.' I've always been very strong in my beliefs that I keep my body healthy and I'm going to do everything necessary to make sure I don't get COVID."
"I'm a healthy person and I've worked really hard since a very young age of keeping my body in the best shape and keeping tight control of my blood sugar. At the end of the day, that's the most important thing. I'm treating myself as a normal person. If I would get COVID, it would interact just like anybody else because I treat myself like anybody else would."
The third-round selection from the 2018 NFL Draft made his first Pro Bowl squad last season after he tallied 64 receptions and 10 touchdown grabs, the most scores accumulated by any tight end during the 2019 campaign.