Earlier today, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero hinted that players would prefer an all-virtual offseason until mandatory camp. Shortly after that report came out, the Denver Broncos had an important announcement to share with the rest of the league.
The Broncos revealed that they will not be participating in voluntary workouts this offseason due to concerns regarding COVID-19.
“Playing in the NFL is a dream of our players who work tirelessly year-round to perform in America’s greatest game,” the Broncos’ players said. “With offseason programs starting in less than a week and without adequate protocols in place in order for us players to return safely, we will be exercising our right to not participate in voluntary offseason workouts.”
Denver players pointed out that the positivity rate for the city is higher than expected, which could lead to infections within the team.
“Positivity rates in our city are higher than they were at this time last year and we know players have been infected at club facilities in recent weeks.”
A statement on behalf of the Denver Broncos players: pic.twitter.com/b7ZQZ1Z7PY
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 13, 2021
Will an all-virtual offseason hurt the Broncos’ production on the field later this year? The players certainly don’t think so.
“Despite having a completely virtual offseason last year, the quality of play across the NFL was better than ever by almost every measure. We hope players across the NFL work with our union as we did to get all of the facts so every player can make an informed decision.”
The NFL should expect other teams to make similar announcements fairly soon.