ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Right tackle Ja'Wuan James has informed the Broncos he will opt out of the 2020 season, the team announced Monday.
James, who was expected to start for the Broncos in 2020 after missing much of the 2019 season, will miss the entire 2020 campaign.
"After continuous conversation with my family over the past couple weeks about the NFL figuring out the plan for the 2020 season, I've decided to opt out," said James, in part, in a statement. "It is tough, but the right decision. There's just too much unknown about this virus & about plans handling it going forward. My wife & I were blessed with our newborn son May 22 & he's now my top priority. Although I worked all offseason & invest in my body to bounce back & have a great year on the field, it's just not worth risking the health of my loved ones. I've seen this virus already hospitalize one of my family members & hope to not have that happen again. We can't live in fear or just confine ourselves just to our homes but we all have to make the right conscious choices and navigate through day to day life to protect our neighbors."
The 28-year-old player signed with the Broncos in free agency ahead of the 2019 season but appeared in only three games and played just 63 offensive snaps as he battled several knee injuries.
Without James in the lineup, Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson appear poised to start at left tackle and right tackle, respectively. Wilkinson started 12 games at right tackle in 2019 in place of James.
Wilkinson is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list but reportedly will be able to return for practice in mid-August.
Jake Rodgers also started a game at right tackle in 2019. Quinn Bailey, Calvin Anderson and Hunter Watts are the other tackles on Denver's roster.
James will not count against the Broncos' roster during the 2020 season. He is under contract with the Broncos through the 2022 season.
He is the second Broncos player to opt out; Denver previous placed Kyle Peko on the Reserve/Higher Risk Opt-Out list.