CALIFORNIA—Another round of players have chosen to opt-out of the upcoming NFL season, because of Coronavirus, bringing the number to 67. This time, it involves last year’s NFC Champions, the San Francisco 49ers.
Following a season, where they made it to the Super Bowl, the top team in the NFC West will have to make it to the big game without, at least, three players on their current roster.
After wide receiver Travis Benjamin made his decision to opt out on Wednesday, August 5, the very next day, it’s two players that have had the job of protecting starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, in the past who will be putting themselves on the shelf, as well.
Offensive lineman’s Shon Coleman and Jake Brendel made their decisions on Thursday, with Coleman, in particular, choosing to go that route after battling leukemia just 10 years earlier. For that reason, the Auburn alum, who was drafted in 2016, could be considered a “high risk” possibility for catching the deadly virus.
As for Brendel, the former UCLA Bruin didn’t appear to give a reason for why he’s opting out, but the assumption among players across the league has been that they’re aware of the risks of the virus, and don’t want to take the chance of contracting anything or spreading it either.
This means that the 49ers have three roster spots available, and will have to sign some players, who plan to play this season, to replace them on the 53-man roster.