Danny Vitale will not be suiting up for the New England Patriots this year.
The newly-acquired fullback has opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, his agent told USA TODAY. Vitale and his wife, Caley, are parents of a newborn baby.
This makes Vitale the third NFL player to opt out so far, following Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Ravens wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas.
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Vitale signed with the Patriots on a one-year deal worth $1.3 million in March. The plan was to have Vitale replace the retired James Develin, but now the fullback job is wide open with Jakob Johnson and rookie Dalton Keene on the roster as potential options.
UPDATE: Patriots guard Najee Toran has also decided to opt out, per Jim McBride of The Boston Globe.
In addition to fullback Dan Vitale, #Patriots guard Najee Toran also has opted out of the season, per league source.— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) July 27, 2020