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Kansas City Chiefs third-round pick Lucas Niang opts out of 2020 NFL season

Matt Johnson
Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Lucas Niang
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Lucas Niang will opt-out of the 2020 season, becoming the 61st NFL player to choose not to play this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Niang, a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, becomes the second Chiefs’ offensive lineman to opt-out of the NFL season. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Kansas City’s starting right guard, was the first NFL player to opt-out.

Chiefs’ rookie OL Lucas Niang opts out of 2020 season

Niang battled multiple injuries during his collegiate career, pushing him down the draft board. A potential first-round talent, the Chiefs snagged the 6-foot-7, 328-pound tackle with the No. 96 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NFL has seen a significant number of lineman, who are part of the at-risk group for severe COVID-19 complications due to their size, opt-out this year.

Now, Niang becomes the latest player in the trenches to choose to sit out rather than risk exposure to the coronavirus in a contact sport.

Players who voluntarily opt-out will receive a $150,000 stipend that would be paid back next year. Furthermore, their contract carries over into 2021. If a player is deemed high-risk for COVID-19, they get a $350,000 stipend and receive a year of service.

What NFL players are opting out?

With the NFL’s player opt-out deadline now just hours away, more decisions are expected to come with more notable players considering sitting out the upcoming season. Here is the list of NFL players who opted out of the 2020 season.

  • New England Patriots: Patrick Chung, Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Marqise Lee, Danny Vitale, Najee Toran, Matt LaCosse
  • Cleveland Browns: Drake Dorbeck, Drew Forbes, Andrew Billings, Colby Gossett
  • Dallas Cowboys: Maurice Canady, Stephen Guidry, Jamize Olawale
  • Detroit Lions: Geronimo Allison, John Atikins, Russell Bodine
  • Baltimore Ravens: Andre Smith, De’Anthony Thomas
  • New Orleans Saints: Cole Wick, Jason Vander Laan
  • New York Giants: Nate Solder, Da’Mari Scott, Sam Beal
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Damien Williams, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
  • Miami Dolphins: Allen Hurns, Albert Wilson
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Lerentee McCray, Al Woods
  • Buffalo Bills: Star Lotulelei, E.J. Gaines
  • New York Jets: C.J. Mosley, Leo Koloamatangi
  • Denver Broncos: Ja’Wuan James, Kyle Peko
  • Cincinnati Bengals: Josh Tupou, Isaiah Prince
  • Las Vegas Raiders: D.J. Killings, Jeremiah Valoage, Ukeme Eligwe
  • Chicago Bears: Eddie Goldman, Jordan Lucas
  • Washington Football Team: Caleb Brantley, Josh Harvey-Clemons
  • Carolina Panthers: Jordan Mack, Christian Miller
  • Los Angeles Rams: Chandler Brewer
  • Arizona Cardinals: Marcus Gilbert
  • Green Bay Packers: Devin Funchess
  • Houston Texans: Eddie Vanderdoes
  • Minnesota Vikings: Michael Pierce