Some NFL teams skipping offseason practices amid pandemic

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, the NFL logo is displayed on the field at the Bank of American Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. The NFL revealed Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, that several positive COVID-19 tests were found a day earlier by one of its testing partners, and the Chicago Bears said they had nine false positives. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, the NFL logo is displayed on the field at the Bank of American Stadium before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. The NFL revealed Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, that several positive COVID-19 tests were found a day earlier by one of its testing partners, and the Chicago Bears said they had nine false positives. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

While the NFL is planning on going forward with a season that could include full capacity at stadiums, players on some teams aren’t too thrilled with the way the league has dealt with COVID-19 protocols for upcoming offseason workouts.

The NFL Players Association sent a memo to all players reiterating the union’s position that they want to see the same approach taken this offseason when there were no voluntary practices and offseason workouts were limited. Already, players on two teams have announced that they aren’t going to participate in the voluntary practices, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.

The Seahawks’ players have released a similar statement.

The players on the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also released a similar statement, saying they will not participate in the voluntary offseason program as well.

So far, there has been no pronouncement from Jaguars’ players. However, ProFootballTalk is reporting that the NFL has sent a memo to all teams stating that Tier I or II employees — basically employees who would interact with players, all need to be vaccinated or else they will not be allowed to be in areas where players and coaches work. News4Jax asked the Jaguars what they were doing and here’s the statement from the team:

“For many months now, the Jaguars have provided employees educational resources about COVID-19 vaccinations and alerted staff to changes in vaccine eligibility and testing sites. In the last few weeks as Florida eligibility opened up to an even wider audience, employees and their families have begun receiving vaccination scheduling assistance through our employee wellness programming affiliated with Baptist Health.”

The offseason workout program does not appear to be impacted by the NFLPA’s suggestions, but Organized Team Activities would be. Last offseason, there were no OTAs or minicamps because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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