By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS)- The Chicago Bears players became the latest to announce, via a statement from the NFL Players Association, that they will not attend voluntary in-person workouts when they are scheduled to open next week due to COVID concerns. The statement, released through the NFLPA Twitter account, says that COVID remains a threat to players, families and fellow players.

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The full statement reads:

COVID-19 remains a risk both to our team, our families and to our fellow NFL players. We also saw the health and safety benefits of a fully virtual offseason, as injuries across the NFL were down last year. Players remain unclear about the protocols and protections, and rules remain inconsistent despite the last minute communication by the NFL yesterday. It is for these reasons that the majority of our locker room are choosing to exercise our right and not participate in in-person voluntary workouts in order to stay as safe as possible.

The Bears are now the sixth team to have its players say they won’t be attending in-person voluntary workouts following the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions.

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Voluntary in-person workouts for all teams were expected to begin on Monday, April 19, but the league and the players association have been in negotiations about whether the offseason would be fully virtual, as the players want, or delayed in-person, as the league wants.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff