New York Giants offensive tackle quits NFL season due to pandemic

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Oct 7, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) during the second half at against the Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants’ Nate Solder will not play in the 2020 NFL season because of concerns over his and his family’s health during the coronavirus pandemic.

An agreement was reached last week between the NFL and its Players’ Association allowing players to opt out of the season if they wished.

Left tackle Solder, 32, is a cancer survivor and his five-year-old son is also undergoing cancer treatments.

In a statement, Solder said his family decided to “pause for this season”.

“We fully recognise that being able to make a decision like this is a privilege,” he said.

“Our family has health concerns, most notably our son’s ongoing battle with cancer, as well as my own bout with cancer.

“We also welcomed a new addition to our family this spring, a baby boy. With fear and trembling, we struggle to keep our priorities in order and, for us, our children’s health and the health of our neighbours comes before football.”

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Solder was set to earn more than £10m this season. Players considered high risk who opt out can earn $350,000 (£270,000) and an accrued NFL season.

He added: “I will deeply miss my team-mates, coaches and everyone in the Giants organisation. I want to thank them and all my friends and fans who continue to support me and my family through the highs and the lows.”

Solder is the most high profile of the players to have opted out of the NFL season, which is due to begin on 10 September.