NFL Adds New COVID Protocols After Another Outbreak
The NFL works extra hard to host a safe and successful 2020 season. The league imposed some strict COVID-19 protocols earlier this year and even delayed their return-to-play plans. But despite their best efforts, the NFL continues to face multiple periodic outbreaks while hosting live games.
The league once again updated its existing COVID-19 protocols established with the players’ union following a petition from team owners, general managers, and head coaches. The call was brought about by a recent league-wide outbreak and protocol violations that affected several participating teams.
More NFL players tested positive for the virus after a new series of testing. The list included two players from the Tennessee Titans and one from the New England Patriots. The Patriots player had a fight against the Kansas City Chiefs last Monday, but the opposing team hasn’t reported any positive cases yet.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the changes in the protocols earlier this week as a response. The new set of protocols included the introduction of a league-wide video system to monitor players and staff during live games and training. The system will ensure that all participants are wearing personal protective equipment like face masks while inside team facilities or traveling. Additionally, the league is now limiting the number of free-agent tryouts per week and imposing total bans on gatherings outside team facilities.
Failure to comply with the new policy may result in forfeiture of games, added Goodell. When the previous protocol was being implemented, the NFL already fined several coaches with $100,000 each and their clubs with $250,000 for improper use of face coverings during live games.
‘’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,” Goodell said in a memo released last Monday.
Aside from the new protocols, the NFL is also considering holding virtual meetings. Team practices and walk-throughs that require physical appearances may only continue if all participants are wearing masks and shields.