April 13 (UPI) -- Players for the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers won't report to their respective practice facilities next week to start voluntary off-season workouts, the teams said in statements released through the NFL Players Association on Tuesday.
In their statement, Broncos players cited increasing COVID-19 positivity rates in Denver and surrounding communities, as well as the absence of "adequate protocols in place." According to ESPN, Denver's players voted to skip the voluntary workouts and informed head coach Vic Fangio of their decision Tuesday morning.
Players for the Seahawks issued a similar statement, saying: "The NFLPA has provided us with thorough research and information regarding our safety as players as we enter voluntary workouts this year, especially the benefits on our health and safety from a virtual off-season last year. After considering all the facts, we as a team have decided to make a decision that is uncomfortable but necessary."
The defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers said in their statement that they "held each other accountable to do the work it took to win" during last year's virtual off-season and "we plan to do that again."
The NFL's off-season programs are set to begin April 19, at which point daily COVID-19 testing for players and staff members will commence. Voluntary workouts take place Monday through Thursday, with Friday through Sunday as days off.
Also Tuesday, the NFL sent a memo to all teams saying Tier 1 or Tier 2 personnel will be required to be vaccinated to work in team facilities, unless they must abstain for health or religious reasons.