It seems ridiculous that 2K could release an official NFL product without real-life players, and yet it could happen. In their press release announcing that a new game was in the works, the developer didn't mention whether or not they'd struck a deal with the NFL Players Association.
Throwing bombs as P.Mohomes, T.Bradie and J.Guff would flat out suck, as would running plays with S.Barkly, E.Eliot and D.Singleterry. It's a genuine prospect however, which is terrifying. If NFL 2K21 doesn't feature real players from real teams, then the product's impact will take a major hit.
Plus, it'd be f*cking odd to see an NFL-branded game that didn't have actual player likenesses. Fans deserve something authentic from 2K here, and people probably wouldn't accept fake names, generic-looking player models or fake-ass ball clubs.