The New England Patriots had the most COVID-19 opt-outs this past season. According to recent reports, the Patriots will get back some of the players. A total of 8 players opted-out of the 2020 season due to health concerns related to the pandemic. The Patriots missed at least 3 players who opted out of the season. New England missed the postseason for the first time since 2008, and fans are worried. It looks like several Patriots players are returning in 2021.
Lee is not a star receiver, but he would have become the Patriots’ No.1 receiver had he stayed with the team. The wideout plans to return. Mike Reiss from ESPN reported that Lee said, “I got to Boston on Sunday, did the physical and everything was perfect. As far as this year goes, I’m eager to get back.” Lee and his lady were expecting, and opting-out of the season was the only option. However, he considers a big return now.
Bolden plans to return in 2021. New England had enough running backs, but they also had too many injuries and aging situations. Rex Burkhead left the game after tearing his ACL. Damien Harris ended up on injured reserve twice. James White will turn 29 in February and he is entering free agency. Bolden turns 30, but he has the right specialty skills.
Key Patriots players are returning in 2021
Vitale was an underrated opt-out. Jakob Johnson was great on the field and his blocking game was impeccable. However, Vitale seems to have the right receiving skills and hands. Vitale has great speed and worked really well with the offense. Reiss reported that Vitale will probably return in 2021.
His absence was definitely felt. Patriots players missed him a lot. Sadly, Hightower may call it career this offseason. There have been several rumors suggesting that Hightower won’t return to the field. The only thing we can do right now is wait and see what happens next with the Patriots roster. Hightower is a key player and the team needs him on the field.