Lions Join Bucs, Seahawks, Broncos by Opting Out of Offseason NFL Workouts

Adam WellsApril 14, 2021

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 15:  A general view of the Detroit Lions logo is seen before the start of a regular season game between the Washington Football Team and the Detroit Lions on November 15, 2020 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions have become the fourth NFL team to opt out of offseason workouts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a statement released by the NFL Players Association, the Lions cited "no acceptable resolution to our union's negotiations with the NFL over comprehensive COVID-19 protocols" as their reasoning for not participating in offseason workouts:


A statement from the Detroit Lions players: pic.twitter.com/Ew2piOTMIk

Detroit's decision comes one day after players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos announced they would not take part in voluntary workouts. 

The NFL and NFLPA have yet to agree to terms on COVID-19 protocols for the offseason workout period. The league has taken steps to encourage all employees to get vaccinated, though it is not a requirement. 

In a memo from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to all 32 teams (h/t NFL Network's Tom Pelissero), any club employee who refuses to get the vaccine without a "bona fide medical (reason) or religious ground" will have restricted access. 

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Here’s the full NFL memo, which also says teams must report weekly the number of employees who are vaccinated, as conversations with the NFLPA continue on the thresholds at which protocols on testing, PPE, travel, etc., can be relaxed. pic.twitter.com/FXuIhFP6Vh

Goodell also encouraged teams to open their stadiums and training facilities as vaccination sites for players, staff and family members. 

The NFL announced last month that it will have relaxed regulations for the draft, including up to 10 people with no mask requirement in the war room, so long as team employees have been fully vaccinated. 

Some teams have historically held a voluntary workout period prior to the draft, followed by organized team activities in late-May and early-June, with a mandatory minicamp in mid-June.