NFL players contemplating opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns will have to make their decision before the end of the week.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL and NFL Players Association have set the official opt-out deadline for Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
Now official: Deadline for NFL players to opt out is Thursday at 4 pm EST, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 3, 2020
A total of 44 NFL players, including eight New England Patriots players, have opted out so far. Fullback Danny Vitale, guard Najee Toran, safety Patrick Chung, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, running back Brandon Bolden, tight end Matt LaCosse, and wide receiver Marqise Lee are the Pats who have decided to forgo the 2020 campaign.
Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis
Patriots veteran Devin McCourty sounded off on the league on Sunday for moving up the opt-out deadline.
“It’s an absolute joke that the NFL is changing the opt-out period, mainly because they don’t want to continue to see guys opt out,” McCourty said. "I think it’s terrible. I think it’s BS that the league [wants to change] that date.”
McCourty hasn't confirmed whether he'll play this season, but he was in attendance for the Patriots' first training camp workout Monday. We'll know by Thursday evening whether he'll be on the field for New England in 2020.