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66 NFL players opt out of 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns

The Patriots have seen the most withdrawals, including linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung.

Dont’a Hightower is among those opting out.
Dont’a Hightower is among those opting out.
Image: Simon Cooper/PA

DOZENS OF NFL players – including eight from the New England Patriots – have opted out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus.

The league said 66 players notified their clubs ahead of a deadline on Thursday including 20 offensive linemen and 11 defensive linemen.

Those opting to sit out the season, which starts on 10 September, will get €127,000 ($150,000) as a salary advance, while players sitting out for medical reasons are eligible for €296,000 ($350,000).

The Patriots have seen the most withdrawals, including linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung, while only three teams have had no optouts: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers.

The Houston Texans will take on the reigning Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs to open the season, which is due to end with Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida, on 7 February.

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