Report: Patriots’ Cole Popovich parts ways with team due to COVID-19 protocols

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The NFL’s new guidelines for the the COVID-19 vaccine during the 2021 season haven’t sat well with some players and coaches in the league.

New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon, along with other players in the league have vocally expressed their frustration with the protocols. Patriots co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich made the decision to step away from the team because of the new rules, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss and The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride.

Popovich joined the Patriots in 2015 as a coaching assistant and he shared offensive line duties with Carmen Bricillo in 2020 following the departure of Dante Scarnecchia. Bricillo will now take the lead role as the offensive line coach.

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Popovich wasn’t the first coach to part ways this offseason due to COVID-19 rules and he likely won’t be the last.

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