Bears, Browns and Giants join other NFL players who won't report to voluntary workouts without COVID protocols

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns players will not report to voluntary offseason NFL workouts unless the league institutes COVID-19 protocols. Players from both teams released statements through the NLPA on Thursday announcing their decisions.

The Bears' statement noted players are unclear on COVID-19 protocols, and want to remain safe during the offseason. The team also stated that a "fully virtual offseason" led to injuries being down in 2020.

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Browns players said they did not think the NFL's current COVID-19 protocols were adequate. They also cited feeling "healthier both mentally and physically last year" as reasons to hold virtual workouts instead of in-person workouts.

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Thursday night, players from both the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders made similar announcements.

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On Friday, the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers joined in.

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Nearly every statement mentions players were healthier last season, when teams held fully virtual offseasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bears, Browns players join growing list in NFL

Bears and Browns players are far from the first groups of players to issue statements about in-person workouts. Denver Broncos players were the first to issue a statement through the NFLPA on Tuesday. Players from the Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quickly followed the Broncos' lead.

After moving to a full virtual offseason last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is hoping to hold a regular in-person offseason in 2021. Prior to 2020, NFL teams typically met both before and after the NFL draft to hold voluntary workouts. With the draft — which takes place April 29 — quickly approaching, players were running out of time to stand united against in-person workouts. 

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