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49ers Players Announce They Will Opt Out of Voluntary OTA Workouts

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 17, 2021

A Salute to Service logo is shown before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers players are the latest to announce they will not participate in 2021 offseason workouts.

Team members released a statement through the NFL Players Association on Saturday, announcing that "many in our locker room" will not show up for "some or all" voluntary in-person work.

NFLPA @NFLPA

A statement from the San Francisco 49ers players: https://t.co/Z68yByOgdc

Several other teams have released similar statements, including the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Rams

The league is planning to conduct its offseason program in three phases, with in-person work beginning May 17. 

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

The NFL has laid out its plan for a three-phase offseason program. From a memo to teams today: Apr 19-May 14: All virtual meetings, weight rooms open May 17-21: No contact on-field drills allowed, meetings still virtual May 24-June 18: Ten OTA days plus a mandatory minicamp

JC Tretter, president of the NFLPA, shared a third-party analysis of data from last year's NFL season that showed a major decrease in illness and injury throughout the 2020 season after the league conducted the offseason virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There was a 45 percent decrease in heat-related illness, a 23 percent decrease in missed-time injuries and a 30 percent decrease in concussions, according to the data.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, the league is also preparing to play an expanded season with the addition of a 17th regular-season game, which provides more opportunity for injuries regardless of whether the offseason returns to normal.

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