WASHINGTON — The NFL is just around the corner, and the league has released its rules and guidelines for playing through this pandemic.
Players have until tomorrow to opt out of the season. Those who opt out will be given a $150,000 stipend, but it's considered a salary advance for 2021.
Players who opt out based on an underlying medical condition will receive a stipend of $350,000 that will not be treated as a salary advance.
"It's a very serious situation and from what I've heard from all the guys opting out and listened to their reasoning, it all makes sense," Washington head coach Ron Rivera said. "I actually talked to one of our players who did opt out and it was very heartfelt, and we had a great discussion and I told him I respect his decision."
Those who are prepared to play must follow strict coronavirus guidelines put in place.
An NFL player can be fined up to $50,000 for refusing coronavirus testing, and $14,000 for refusing to wear a mask, maintaining social distance or for refusing to wear a special device that will warn players if they are too close to others. That device also serves as a way to aid contact tracing if another player tests positive.
Players are also expected to adhere to a number of rules when they aren’t at football facilities, including not going to an indoor bar or night club that has more than 10 people or attending house parties with more than 15 people unless everyone is wearing protective masks.
NFL players cannot attend an indoor concert, entertainment event, or another professional sporting event unless a player is seated away from others in the venue.
The NFL said it is doing everything it can to make sure a full season is played, and done so, safely.