Patriots

Patriots players say many will not participate in next week’s voluntary workouts due to COVID-19 risk

Voluntary workouts were scheduled to begin on April 19.

Barry Chin
Patriots players take the field for OTAs in 2019, the last year the voluntary workouts were held.

The Patriots released a statement through the NFL Players’ Association saying many team members won’t be participating in voluntary workouts, which are scheduled to begin Monday.

“The NFL has yet to agree to the full details of a plan for players despite the fact that we are a few short days away from the start of voluntary workouts,” the statement said. “The threat of COVID-19 is still serious in our community and across the country, and we think it is safer for everyone if we choose to workout on our own.”

New England joins a slew of other teams that have already announced some or all players plan to opt out, joining the Lions, Broncos, Seahawks, and Buccaneers.

NFL Players Association president J.C. Tretter has been advocating for a repeat of last year’s offseason when the global COVID-19 outbreak forced teams to do everything online until training camps opened in August.

Except for one minicamp, the offseason programs are voluntary, although most players participate in them and many players have contractual incentives to do so.

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