First NY Jets player opts out of the 2020 season amidst COVID-19 concerns

NY Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The first NY Jets player has officially opted out of the 2020 NFL season.

The NY Jets are preparing for what promises to be a season unlike any other, but it doesn’t appear as though they’ll be at full capacity.

Over the past few days, numerous NFL players have decided to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season amidst growing concerns regarding the safety of play given the current climate of the world.

And on Tuesday, the first Jets player has reportedly opted-out.

As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, backup offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi has decided to opt-out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Koloamatangi spent a couple of months on the Jets’ active roster last season but failed to appear in a regular-season game. Originally an undrafted free agent in 2017, Koloamatangi signed on with the Detroit Lions where he spent the first two years of his career.

However, much like with the Jets, the 26-year-old never actually suited up for a regular-season game spending the majority of his time on the practice squad.

After being released as part of final roster cuts in 2019, Koloamatangi spent around two months on the open market before the Jets signed him to their practice squad. And following a few injuries to the offensive line, the Jets promoted Koloamatangi to the active roster in November.

However, going into 2020, the former Hawaii standout faced an uphill battle when it came to making the roster.

NY Jets’ center Leo Koloamatangi was considered a longshot for the final roster.

A natural center, Koloamatangi entered training camp behind a number of players on the depth chart. Connor McGovern, Jonotthan Harrison, and Josh Andrews are all definitely ahead of him and others such as Jimmy Murray and Brad Lunblade are also in the picture.

And really, the only two players there guaranteed roster spots are McGovern and Harrison. There’s a very good chance that Koloamatangi wouldn’t have even been given practice squad spot.

Nonetheless, his contract will now get pushed back to next year where he will compete for a roster spot in 2021.

For the Jets, the attention now shifts to whether any other players will opt-out or not. Amidst growing concerns, over 20 players have now decided to sit out of this season, and it’s hard to blame them.

Next. NY Jets pre-training camp 53-man roster prediction

Koloamatangi was the first, it remains to be seen if any other Jets will join him.