By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — With the steep uptick in positive cases of COVID-19 over the past week-plus, the NFL instituted some new guidelines and protocols in order to get through the rest of the season and the playoffs. Included in those new rules was an ability for any player to opt out for the remainder of the season.

Zero NFL players utilized that option, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

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The deadline to opt out was Monday at 2 p.m. ET.

Over the weekend, the league announced that it had instituted a “high-risk player opt-out for the remainder of the season.” With just three weeks left, players with no hope of reaching the postseason might have been allured to utilize that option.

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Alas, none did, and the season will move forward.

Locally, it’s notable that no Patriots opted out, after the team led the league with eight players who opted out of the entire 2020 season due to concerns about COVID-19. That list included Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Bolden, both of whom have returned to the team this year. The other six — a group that included Patrick Chung (retired) and Marcus Cannon (traded) — are no longer with the Patriots.

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The NFL scrambled to adjust to a high number of positive cases last week, moving the Raiders-Browns game to Monday afternoon, and moving both the Seahawks-Rams game and Washington-Philadelphia game to Tuesday night.

CBSBoston.com Staff