Earlier this week, Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James suffered a season-ending injury away from the team facility. This led to a lengthy debate about how the NFL should handle these type of injuries moving forward.
Since the injury to James occurred away from the Broncos’ facility, the front office can avoid paying his $9.85 million guaranteed salary. Of course, this didn’t sit well with players around the league.
Multiple players criticized the NFL for not guaranteeing salaries for players who suffer injuries away from their respective facility. On Wednesday, the league sent a memo to all 32 teams regarding this complaint.
“According to the media coverage, several players have expressed surprise that Mr. James’ injury was not covered by his Injury Guarantee, although this point has been made frequently in our discussions with the NFLPA about the offseason program,” the NFL said in a press release. “Clubs are encouraged to remind players of the significant injury-related protection provided if they choose to work out at the club facility and the risks they undertake in choosing to train in non-NFL locations.”
Here’s the full memo from the NFL:
NFL sent this memo to teams today regarding injuries sustained away from team facilities: pic.twitter.com/oj1WieNrnc
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 5, 2021
The NFL wants all its players to understand that any injuries sustained outside of league facilities are outside the scope of a typical skill, injury and cap guarantee.
Countless players have already announced that they will not participate in voluntary workouts due to concerns regarding COVID-19. However, the latest statement from the NFL may change their stance on the offseason workout program.