dangolka (CBS) — In a span of lower than 24 hours this week, six Patriots gamers opted out of taking part in within the 2020 season, attributable to COVID-19 considerations. The half-dozen gamers had been by far probably the most for any staff within the league.
In keeping with a brand new report, although, the variety of gamers opting out probably would have been even bigger, if not for the choice of one of the crucial revered members within the Patriots’ locker room.
Longtime particular groups captain Matthew Slater was apparently on the fence about taking part in in 2020, however finally determined that he’ll certainly play, based on NFL Community’s Mike Garafolo. That report additionally indicated that had Slater determined to choose out, a few of his teammates would have made the identical resolution.
Right here’s what Garafolo mentioned on NFL Community:
We had been chasing this [Wednesday], Ian Rapoport and I, as a result of I used to be instructed that Slater was leaning towards opting out. And Rapoport finally tracked down Slater, who mentioned, ‘No, it was a troublesome resolution, however I might be taking part in.’ So there you go, Patriots followers. Just a little glimmer of hope for you this 12 months that you simply didn’t lose one other man.
And by the best way, [Slater] being a staff captain, I collect that another guys had been trying in direction of Slater to see what he was going to do. So it’s potential that this record might have grown much more if Slater had opted out. However Matt Slater, staff captain, might be there to interrupt down the huddles within the postgame locker room and lead this staff towards wherever they’re going.
From @gmfb: The #Patriots nearly had one other opt-out however longtime staff captain Matt Slater tells @RapSheet he has determined to play this season. pic.twitter.com/LEQYE3ohKV
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 30, 2020
If the NFL season does happen this 12 months, the Patriots might be taking the sector with out Dont’a Hightower, Patrick Chung, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Danny Vitale and Najee Toran. They are going to be with Slater, and based mostly on that report, Invoice Belichick was spared having to cope with the lack of much more gamers in what’s already a difficult upcoming season.