The NFL and NFLPA on Monday finalized the deadline for players to opt out of the 2020 season.
Players wishing to opt out due to COVID-19 concerns must do so by 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, according to a report Monday from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Now official: Deadline for NFL players to opt out is Thursday at 4 pm EST, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 3, 2020
As of Monday evening, 48 players from 24 teams had opted out.
The New England Patriots lead the league with eight opt-outs: linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Danny Vitale, tight end Matt LaCosse, wide receiver Marqise Lee and guard Najee Toran. The Dallas Cowboys (three) are the only other team with more than two.
Patriots safety Devin McCourty on Sunday blasted the NFL for shortening the opt-out window, calling the move “terrible,” “B.S.” and “an absolute joke.” McCourty did not say whether he plans to play this season but was present Monday at the Patriots’ first training camp workout.
Most teams can begin holding on-field practices Aug. 12, with full-contact work starting Aug. 17.