Fans can’t be too surprised that NFL players are opting out of the season due to COVID-19.
The first of the NFL players opting out of the season was Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. He took to social media to announce he was opting out. Duvernay-Tardif has been working as an orderly at a Montreal long-term facility for the last few months.
My decision regarding the 2020 NFL season pic.twitter.com/jrY3nZfNWO
— Laurent D. Tardif (@LaurentDTardif) July 25, 2020
As of Tuesday morning on July 28, ten NFL players have opted out of the season. Players have until August 1 to decide whether they will play or not.
The New England Patriots have been the hardest hit as five players will not be playing in 2020. Those players include offensive lineman Najee Toran, fullback Danny Vitale, and running back Brandon Bolden. The other two players are starters on the team with Marcus Cannon and Dont’a Hightower.
Losing Cannon and Hightower will be the most felt by the Patriots as they have been key players on the team for years. Cannon opted out due to overcoming non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma back in 2011. Hightower just became a father this month and doesn’t want to risk his family with getting sick to play.
How Many NFL Players Will be Opting Out?
So far, there have been a few big-name NFL players that have been opting out of the season. Fans can’t be surprised to see more players deciding to not risk it and not play the season.
Fans saw it in the NBA and MLB with players like David Price and Avery Bradley deciding to not play the season. It’s going to be a common theme throughout the week. More NFL players will opt-out than in any other professional league. This is due to the size of the league, but the higher risk they face as well.
Leagues like the NBA, NHL, and MLS have had low numbers of COVID-19 cases because they are in a bubble and less opportunity for contact. In football, 22 players are on the field and always contacting each other for the most part. The risk is higher for NFL players than in other leagues.
How many players are fans going to see opt-out for the August 1 deadline? That remains to be seen. It’s safe to say though that fans are seeing just the beginning of it as more will be coming. The league just has to hope that no superstars decide to sit out for the season.