The 2020 season is inching closer for the NFL, but there remains a litany of concerns regarding the player’s safety. That has led many to elect to sit out playing the upcoming campaign for health reasons for themselves and their family. That lingering concern nearly led Denver Broncos star outside linebacker Von Miller to head that route this offseason.
NFL players opting out of 2020 season
Unlike many of the other professional sports leagues, the NFL had the luxury of time to prepare to handle their 2020 season with a structured plan.
However, things haven’t exactly unfolded in that manner, with many players voicing their concerns on social media. The gist of their planned message was to outline the lack of a coherent plan for safety measures for the 2020 season. That saw them force the league’s hand to commit to a $75 million plan for daily coronavirus testing throughout the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, more than 40 players have continued to opt-out of playing the 2020 season. The New England Patriots have been hit quite hard, with several players electing to sit out. It has just seen Miami Dolphins wide receivers Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns among the latest to head that route.
The Broncos nearly had that occur with their anchor defensively seriously considering that option.
Von Miller almost refused to play the 2020 season
The trend of players dropping out for the 2020 season has seen many prominent talents elect to go that route.
There is a growing concern for safety and health for themselves and their family that could be impacted by the virus. All that nearly saw Broncos star outside linebacker Von Miller elect not to play the upcoming campaign, but it was the team’s handling of the situation that changed his mind, according to Ryan O’Hallaran of The Denver Post.
“I weighed the positives and negatives and came to my own decision and felt like I could play,” he said during a video conference. “The job the Broncos are doing to keep us safe was enough for me to not opt out.”
Von Miller’s situation is quite interesting, given that he tested positive for the virus on April 16. He was back in training camp a few weeks later in early May after he lost 15 pounds. There are several other notable players such as Ezekiel Elliott that tested positive for the illness. Still, it’s the Denver Pro Bowler that nearly chose to sit out the 2020 season because of lingering health concerns.
All that speaks to the underlying concerns that players have and the uncertainty about how the league can move forward to play football in these conditions.
More players will continue to opt-out
There are likely many more situations where players seriously considered their options before committing to playing the 2020 season.
The league has set the deadline for players to opt-out for Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. That will continue to see many players elect to head that route due to their concerns over the virus. Things are still not bunkered down as the illness has hit the United States hard the second time around. That alone could create enough doubt in a player’s mind to play this upcoming season.
The players who choose to head that route shouldn’t face any negative backlash for their decisions to have their well-being and the health of their families at heart. It’s a rough situation that the entire globe is navigating through with no clarity on when things will get to the point of new normalcy.
The 2020 season will be quite different for many different reasons, and the NFL looks like they are limping toward getting it underway. The hope is that the league will get things to play the season in a structured and health-centered manner.