GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins took to Twitter to express his concerns about the new COVID-19 outbreak policy, questioning his future in the league.
The NFL released a memo Thursday morning stating that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the season due to a COVID outbreak among the team’s unvaccinated players, the team will be forced to forfeit, and it will count as a loss. The memo also stated that the team will be responsible for financial losses and may face discipline from the commissioner.
Hopkins expressed his frustration with the league in a since-deleted tweet in response to the league's new COVID-19 policies. “Never thought I would say this, but being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL,” said Hopkins in his tweet.
DeAndre Hopkins deleted a tweet “questioning [his] future” in the NFL after the league announced any team with a COVID outbreak due to unvaccinated players could result in a forfeit pic.twitter.com/PsOeCWQy4u— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 22, 2021
Hopkins later deleted the tweet but posted “freedom?” shortly afterward. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey came to Hopkins defense, tweeting, “I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he don’t get the vax.”
The new policy raises flags about seeding when it comes to playoff time. The 2020 NFL season saw 67 players opt out of playing that season due to concerns of the virus. Notable players also tested positive for the virus last season, including Cardinals veteran Larry Fitzgerald. According to ESPN, Fitzgerald tested positive on Thanksgiving and had to quarantine for two weeks before being healthy enough to return to the team.
Hopkins has had an illustrious NFL career, with 5x Pro-Bowl selections and 3x First-team All-Pro honors. His game-winning catch against the Buffalo Bills was voted the Best Play at the 2021 ESPYs, later dubbed the "Hail Murray."
The Cardinals are set to open the regular season on September 12 versus the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.