Players for the Los Angeles Rams became the latest to announce they will not participate in 2021 offseason workouts.
In a statement released through the NFL Players Association on Friday, the Rams explained they were opting not to show up for voluntary offseason training activities and minicamps.
"While we all still feel optimism that the pandemic can be beaten, we are still in the fight and believe it is unnecessary at this time for players to be volunteering to put themselves at risk for in-person workouts, with our players currently around the country working to safely improve their game on their own," the statement read in part.
Players for the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos released similar statements announcing their intent to skip the voluntary practices.
Last year's offseason was done virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and players reportedly experienced health and safety benefits as well.
NFLPA president JC Tretter noted that a third-party audit of data from last season found a 45 percent decrease in heat-related illness, a decrease in ACL tears within the five-year average, a 23 percent decrease in missed-time injuries and a 30 percent reduction in concussions. There was also greater parity throughout the league. The average margin of victory was just 11 points in 2020—the smallest since 2006.
The league is also preparing for a season with a 17th regular-season game, so players could be increasingly weary of offseason training programs that could increase their risk of injury.