NFL Teams May Lose Draft Picks as Penalty for COVID-19 Mask Protocol Violations

by Chris Haney
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On Wednesday, the NFL sent out a “strongly-worded” memo to all 32 team executives urging teams to comply with face mask protocols during games. If teams fail to comply, they could face penalties that include suspensions or could be forced to forfeit draft picks.

The league is taking COVID-19 protocols very seriously, according to the NFL memo sent to all teams. The report states that the league will “address lack of compliance with accountability measures that may include…suspensions and/or forfeiture of draft picks.”

The NFL’s COVID-19 regulations say, executives, general managers, and head coaches must wear face coverings during games. Especially, in the middle of play while teams are on the sideline of the field. 

The new memo follows previously sent warnings earlier this month to teams about following game day protocols. Through the first three weeks, the NFL has already penalized multiple head coaches for not properly wearing their face masks. In fact, the NFL fined each coach $100,000. Additionally, the league fined each culprit’s team another $250,000.

The NFL reportedly fined five coaches so far for noncompliance. The coaches include New Orleans’ Sean Peyton, Seattle’s Pete Carroll, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan, Denver’s Vic Fangio, and Las Vegas’ Jon Gruden. 

Most NFL coaches seemed to get on board with the protocols in Week 3 as the league emphasized the ruling. However, cameras still captured Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Fangio and a few others not wearing their masks properly. Obviously, the league is tired of seeing it and is taking further measures to ensure COVID-19 protocols are followed.

3 NFL Players Test Positive for COVID-19, Team Suspends Operations

On Tuesday, it was announced that three Tennessee Titans players and five personnel members tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, another case among Titans players was announced on Wednesday.

The Titans suspended operations and closed their facilities temporarily as a precaution. In a statement, the NFL confirmed the organization will keep its facilities closed until at least Saturday. Until then, the organization will work remotely.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the organization has decided to work remotely today as we follow NFL protocols related to the COVID-19 virus,” the Titans announced. “Several tests have come back positive and are working through the process of confirming them. We will have more information tomorrow.”

[H/T Sports Illustrated]

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