DeMarcus Lawrence reports for Cowboys COVID-19 testing amid talk that he'll opt out of season

Jason Owens
·2 min read

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has reported to training camp for COVID-19 testing, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr.

Lawrence arrived on Tuesday after expressing concern last week about playing amid the pandemic. Lawrence’s wife is pregnant, and he’s worried about taking the coronavirus home to his family.

“I have to go home and lay by my wife and kids right after that point,” Lawrence told the Star-Telegram on July 19 of potentially exposing himself to the virus during a game. “It’s no way possible any man should sit here and jeopardize the health of his family and his household over a game.”

Is Lawrence planning to play?

So does Lawrence showing up on Tuesday mean that he’s planning to play this season? It does not. Appearing for testing ensures that Lawrence is credited with arriving to training camp on time and on track to accrue a season toward his pension plan.

DeMarcus Lawrence stars ahead during pregame warmups.
DeMarcus Lawrence has expressed concern about taking the coronavirus home to his children and pregnant wife. (Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

How NFL COVID-19 opt outs work

Players are eligible to voluntarily opt out for the season because of COVID-19 until Aug. 3, meaning Lawrence still has until Monday to decide. Showing up on Tuesday does not void that option.

Players who opt out with approved preexisting conditions will be paid $350,000 and accrue a season while those who opt out without approved conditions will receive a $150,000 stipend and won’t accrue a season. Several players across the NFL have already chosen to opt out.

Lawrence has not publicly commented on his plans since he showed up Tuesday for testing. If he does opt out, he would be among the biggest names in the league to take that option. The 28-year-old pass rusher has tallied 30 sacks across the last three seasons and made the Pro Bowl after the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He’s key to the Cowboys’ hopes of securing an NFC East title.

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