New England Patriots wide receiver Marqise Lee and New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley have both decided to sit out the 2020 NFL season due to coronavirus concerns.
Lee, who signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in April, became a first-time father in February and said protecting his daughter and family is the reason for his decision.
"This is a big sit-down process I had, with me and my significant other, as far as family goes," Lee told ESPN.
"The risk factor in which we believe that's going to be there, it just wasn't worth it in a sense. Just too many unknowns.
"We knew New England, honestly, had a great system in place. But I told coach [Bill Belichick], at the end of the day, I wouldn't be doing him justice going out there because I wouldn't be able to give him my all knowing my family was back at the house worrying about their situation."
Mosley – the highest-paid player on the Jets – also cited family health reasons for his decision. He is in the second year of a five-year, $85million contract he signed with the Jets in March 2019 after five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
Mosley played just two games last season after suffering a groin injury in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills. He returned an interception for a touchdown in that game.
Mosley said in June that he was cleared for training camp.
Lee joins linebacker Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, tackle Marcus Cannon, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Danny Vitale and offensive lineman Najee Toran as Patriots players choosing to sit out this season.
Lee spent the first six years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars but missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his left knee during the preseason.
He appeared in six games last season with three receptions for 18 yards.