NFL: No Contractual Obligation If Injured Away from Club

The NFL released a memo on Wednesday clarifying that teams do not have a contractual obligation if a player is injured working out away from team facilities.
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The NFL has clarified that teams do not have a contractual obligation to a player if they are injured working out away from team facilities.

The clarification memo came out on Wednesday after Denver Bronco right tackle Ja’Wuan James suffered a potential season-ending torn Achilles injury on Tuesday. James was working out away from the Broncos team facility at the time of the injury.

The memo clarified that, “Injuries sustained while a player is working out ‘on his own' in a location other than an NFL facility are considered ‘Non-Football Injuries” and are outside the scope of a typical skill, injury and cap guarantee.”

Since James’s injury would be categorized as a “Non-Football Injury”, the team, in this case, the Broncos, would not be contractually obligated to pay his salary.

“Such injuries are also not covered by the protections found in paragraph 9 of the NFL Player Contract, meaning that clubs have no contractual obligation to provide salary continuation during the year in which the injury was sustained,” The memo said.

In other words, since the injury occurred while working out at a non-team facility, the injury is categorized as a “Non-Football Injury”. If a player were to get injured while working out at a team facility, then it would be categorized as a “Football-Related Injury” and would be treated as such.

Simply put, if players want to get paid even if they get injured during the off-season, they should work out at their respective team facilities.

The full memo can be found below:

NFL memo to all NFL teams regarding, "Injuries Sustained Away From Club Facilities". The memo was originally released on May 5, 2021.

NFL memo to all NFL teams regarding, "Injuries Sustained Away From Club Facilities". The memo was originally released on May 5, 2021.

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