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Dave Birkett shares his thoughts and answers your questions about Detroit lions on the eve of training camp on Monday, 2020. July 27

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions defense fighter John Atkins is choosing an NFL season this fall in a coronavirus pandemic.

Last season, Atkins played 12 games with six Lions starts and was expected to compete for a coaching camp.

The 27-year-old is the 28th known player to give up the season and join the growing list of defensive line players.

The Chicago Bears defense against Eddie Goldman and the Minnesota defense Michael Pierce said they would not play this fall.

Goldman and Pierce are the two best NFL defenders and, while Atkins does not pay the same attention in advance, his decision to leave the Lions without a rotation option in one of the weakest positions during the season.

The Lions have signed Danny Shelton and Nick Williams to form free agents during the off-season, and are expected to play key roles on the defensive line with Trey Flowers and Da’Shawn.

Romeo Okwara is likely to be backed up in the defensive end, with Atkins having to compete with rookies John Penisini and Jashon Cornell, and returning veterinarians Kevin Strong and Frank Herron to be added to the list.

Lions CEO Bob Quinn said he was aware of all the players intending to spend the season early Wednesday, but he thought there was a discussion going on between the players and their families.

“I’m not sure where the players are when it comes to this,” Quinn said in a video conference. “I haven’t heard any questions about it for me. I’m sure (the players and their family members) that there are internal conversations going on. I think all the members of the league are there, so I have nothing to report on this.”

NFL players have seven days from the time the collective agreement amendments are ratified to make an irrevocable decision to give up the season. The seven-day opt-out window has not yet begun, and players may choose to opt-out later due to new health issues.

Players who opt out because they fall into the high-risk category will receive a $ 350,000 scholarship for the season, while others can receive a $ 150,000 advance from their 2021. Salary.

All players who withdraw from the contract are charged.

Queen said the lions are planning an information call Wednesday night with players’ families to discuss coronavirus problems and explain ways to prevent them from spreading. In addition, he said, the team allowed their doctors to answer all questions about the virus from players or their families in private.

Contact Dave Birkett by email. Email dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Read more about Detroit Lions and sign up for our Lions Newsletter.