Final Tally: 67 Players Opt Out of 2020 NFL Season

Howard Balzer

The deadline for players to opt out of the 2020 season passed at 4:00 p.m. ET Thursday, with 65 players taking that route. However, shortly afterward came word that two additional players had made the same decision, despite not appearing on the league transaction wire: 49ers center Jake Brendel and tackle Shon Coleman brought the total to 67.

Only three teams avoided having any players opt out: Atlanta, the L.A. Chargers and Pittsburgh. New England led the league with eight players doing so, followed by Cleveland with five.

As for reserve/COVID-19, seven players were activated Thursday, while another 10 were placed on the reserve list, including six on the Miami Dolphins. That gives Miami 13 players that have been on, or are now in, the group. They technically have 14 because defensive tackle Benito Jones was placed on reserve for the second time Thursday. Jacksonville has a total of 12 and Minnesota nine.

The Dolphins and Vikings have had six players activated, while the Jaguars had seven.

The total is 102 players placed on reserve/COVID-19, with 51 having been activated after posing two negative tests. Four of those activated were subsequently waived.

Players go on the list if they test positive or have been in contact with others that have the virus.

What’s potentially troubling around the league are players that have been on the list for at least one week. Thirty-one players currently on reserve have been so for at least seven days, with 25 of those for nine days or more and nine for at least 10 days. Dallas wide receiver Jon’Vea Johnson has been on for 12 days.

Notable players currently on reserve for extended stays include Eagles guard Lane Johnson, Packers kicker Mason Crosby and Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson, all of whom have been out for nine days.

The overall total days spent on the list for the 102 players is 653.

The Cardinals are one of six teams that, so far, have had no players on reserve. The others are Carolina, Houston, the Chargers, New England and Seattle.

Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury isn’t naïve to believe the team will have no cases. Asked Tuesday if it has been luck or perhaps “something maybe special going on this year,” he said, “It's good fortune. We know we're going to have positive cases at some point. It's just when not if.”

  • 47 players have been placed on active/PUP with eight passing a physical and another being waived.
  • 29 players were placed on active/NFI, five of whom passed physicals.
  • Seven were placed on active/non-football illness with all passing physicals. One of whom was then waived and one, Cardinals tackle Marcus Gilbert, opted out.

The total is 245 players not available to their teams for some period of time, including those that opted out.

Five teams have none now, but had at least one on the list: Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, the New York Giants, San Francisco.

Here is a team-by-team look through Tuesday based on what has been reported officially to the league office:

Arizona: 1 opt-out, 2 illnesses (both passed physical)

Atlanta: 6 COVID-19 (4 activated); 1 illness (passed physical)

Baltimore: 2 opt-outs, 1 COVID-19 (activated), 1 PUP, 1 NFI

Buffalo: 2 opt-outs, 5 COVID-19 (4 activated), 1 PUP, 1 NFI

Carolina: 2 opt-outs, 1 PUP (passed physical), 1 illness (passed physical)

Chicago: 2 opt-outs, 3 COVID-19 (3 activated)

Cincinnati: 2 opt-outs, 1 COVID-19 (activated), 3 PUP (1 passed physical), 4 NFI (1 passed physical)

Cleveland: 5 opt-outs, 5 COVID-19 (4 activated), 3 PUP, 1 NFI

Dallas: 3 opt-outs, 2 COVID-19, 2 PUP

Denver: 2 opt-outs, 1 COVID-19, 1 PUP (passed physical), 1 NFI (passed physical)

Detroit: 3 opt-outs, 8 COVID-19 (4 activated), 1 PUP, 1 NFI

Green Bay: 1 opt-out, 5 COVID-19, 2 PUP, 2 NFI

Houston: 1 opt-out, 2 PUP

Indianapolis: 3 opt-outs, 2 COVID-19, 3 PUP (1 waived), 2 NFI

Jacksonville: 3 opt-outs, 12 COVID-19 (7 activated), 2 PUP (1 passed physical), 1 NFI (passed physical)

Kansas City: 3 opt-outs, 1 COVID-19 (activated, then waived), 2 PUP, 1 NFI

Las Vegas: 3 opt-outs, 3 COVID-19 (1 activated), 1 PUP, 1 illness (passed physical, then waived)

L.A. Chargers: 1 NFI, 1 illness (passed physical)

L.A. Rams: 1 opt-out, 2 COVID-19 (1 activated)

Miami: 2 opt-outs, 14 COVID-19 (1 on twice, 6 activated, 1 waived), 1 NFI

Minnesota: 1 opt-out, 9 COVID-19 (6 activated), 1 PUP, 2 NFI (passed physicals)

New England: 8 opt-outs, 3 PUP (1 passed physical)

New Orleans: 2 opt-outs, 2 COVID-19, 2 PUP

N.Y. Giants: 3 opt-outs, 2 COVID-19 (2 activated), 2 NFI, 1 illness (passed physical)

N.Y. Jets: 3 opt-outs, 4 COVID-19, 3 PUP, 1 NFI

Philadelphia: 1 opt-out, 3 COVID-19, 2 PUP

Pittsburgh: 4 COVID-19 (1 activated, then waived)

San Francisco: 3 opt-outs, 2 COVID-19 (both activated, 1 on NFI), 5 PUP (2 passed physicals), 3 NFI

Seattle: 1 opt-out, 1 PUP, 3 NFI

Tampa Bay: 1 opt-out, 3 COVID-19 (2 activated), 1 PUP

Tennessee: 1 opt-out, 1 COVID-19 (1 activated), 2 PUP (1 passed physical)

Washington: 2 opt-outs, 1 COVID-19, 2 PUP, 1 NFI

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