In case you forgot, COVID-19 still exists. It’s still floating around there somewhere, and even as more restrictions are lifted, and more people are vaccinated, we are still away from going back to full normal.
This reality is still affecting the NFL. Teams are expected to have fans in the stands week one. The NFL is expecting full capacity this year. But between now and then, players have to work out, teams have to practice, and preseason games and training camps need to take place.
One of the milestones towards another NFL season are offseason workouts. Players come to the facility and workout with their teammates. Usually these are up to the player, with high profile veterans skimping on attendance. Bonus incentives tied to attendance is often enough of an incentive to get the whole team together again before organized team activities begin.
Recently the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, and Cleveland Browns all voted to skip voluntary workouts. The Houston Texans have joined this group as well.
Sources: Texans’ players vote for no in-person voluntary workouts, in solidarity with NFL Players Association, multiple NFL teams pic.twitter.com/NLQb1JsiD2
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 16, 2021
The reasoning is the same as last year. The pandemic is not over. This is necessary to protect players health and safety. With this being cancelled autonomously by multiple teams, it will be interesting to see which offseason mainstays will as well.