After two games were postponed as a result of players contracting COVID-19, the NFL has announced new protocols to combat the spread of the virus.
According to CNN, one of those new protocols is the implementation of a video monitoring system in training facilities. The league explained that the video monitoring system is to ensure that all 32 teams are wearing personal protective equipment while in team facilities and traveling. The league also placed a ban on gatherings outside of team facilities.
The new protocols were outlined in a memo Commissioner Roger Goodell sent leaguewide. In addition to the new protocols, the memo firmly outlined the potential financial and competitive consequences that will come from violating them.
“If it is determined that club personnel or players failed to have followed the protocols, discipline will be issued and will escalate where noncompliance continues,” Goodell writes. “Protocol violations that result in virus spread requiring adjustments to the schedule or otherwise impacting other teams will result in additional financial and competitive discipline, including the adjustment or loss of draft choices or even the forfeit of a game.”
On Monday, the league fined 10 players on the Las Vegas Raiders for not wearing face masks while attending a fundraiser hosted by player Darren Waller. Waller received a fine of $30,000 while the other nine players received $15,000 fines, including Raiders QB Derek Carr.
“I hate that a few moments without our masks on led to a story about our team and all this kind of stuff, especially after the fines that were brought on a couple of weeks ago. We felt terrible about that.” Carr told reporters last week.
The league had to reschedule Sunday’s game between the Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs after players on both teams tested positive for COVID-19, including Patriots QB Cam Newton. The game wound up being played on Monday evening.
A game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers also scheduled for last Sunday was postponed until Oct. 23. The postponement came after 10 players and 10 staff members of the Titans organization tested positive for the virus.