Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos players were the first to announce they were opting out of in-person voluntary workouts at team facilities this offseason. Shortly after those teams spoke out, the Buccaneers, Lions, and Patriots joined the chorus.
And now, the Chicago Bears are entering the fray:
A statement from the Chicago Bears players: pic.twitter.com/AQNAqQwsQ2
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 15, 2021
Through a statement from the NFLPA, Bears players say “a majority of our locker room” will not participate in the in-person voluntary workouts this offseason. Chicago’s football team is scheduled to begin its offseason program on Monday. But should things follow the schedule in place, it will happen without a chunk of Bears players.
On Wednesday, the NFL laid out rules for a three-phase offseason program in which only minicamp was mandatory:
NFL’s 2021 offseason plan… pic.twitter.com/hzcN0gvoDA
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) April 14, 2021
For what it’s worth, I thought it was a win for players who were showing hesitation toward in-person workouts because of concerns tied to still trudging through a pandemic. But it’s clear there are still valid concerns about getting everyone back together in team facilities as COVID-19 concerns remain prevalent. This is a developing situation that isn’t showing signs of coming to a quick conclusion any time soon. So we’ll continue to monitor as it develops.