The deadline that the National Football League set for players to opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns passed at 3:00 PM Central time on Thursday. According to numerous reports, no other members of the Minnesota Vikings made the choice to opt out.
That leaves defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who opted out a week or so ago as a high-risk opt-out due to asthma concerns, as the lone member of the purple who will be sitting out this season due to concerns about the virus. Now that he has opted out, he will not be able to opt back in, so Vikings fans won’t get a chance to see the big man until 2021.
Only three teams had no players that opted out of this season: the Atlanta Falcons, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Vikings are one of nine teams that had just one player opt out. The New England Patriots had eight players opt out of the 2020 season to lead the league, with the Cleveland Browns behind them at five.
Now that the deadline has passed, players will only be able to opt out under two very specific circumstances:
- If a close family member becomes seriously ill with COVID, or
- The player is newly-diagnosed with a high-risk condition
You can see the full risk of high-risk conditions in this tweet from the NFLPA.
Overall, 66 players opted out of the 2020 season due to their concerns over COVID-19. You can see the complete list right here courtesy of CBS Sports.