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Coronavirus causes 66 players to opt out of forthcoming NFL season

The Patriots have seen the most withdrawals.

Dozens of NFL players – including eight from the New England Patriots – have opted out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus.

The league said 66 players notified their clubs ahead of a deadline on Thursday including 20 offensive linemen and 11 defensive linemen.

Those opting to sit out the season, which starts on September 10, will get 150,000 (£115,000) dollars as a salary advance, while players sitting out for medical reasons are eligible for 350,000 (£265,000).

The Patriots have seen the most withdrawals, including linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung, while only three teams have had no optouts: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers.

The Houston Texans will take on the reigning Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs to open the season, which is due to end with Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida, on February 7.

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Tom Brady in action for New England Patriots on December 21, 2019
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