The NFL is sending a clear message to coaches on its mask mandate: Fall in line or we’ll suspend you or take away your draft picks.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the league has issued another memo to redouble its efforts for all teams to adhere to strict gameday guidelines related to COVID-19 protocol.
NFL sent another strongly-worded memo to team executives, GMs and HCs today, urging all to be in compliance with game-day protocols (wearing masks). “We will address lack of compliance with accountability measures that may include...suspensions and/or forfeiture of draft picks.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 30, 2020
The league has been cracking down on mask wearing. A report from The Athletic indicates that several maskless players from the Las Vegas Raiders attended a recent charity event, one in which attendees also were seen without face coverings.
Previously, the league issued major fines for Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay for not adhering to sideline mask requirements.
Now they’re reportedly threatening to suspend coaches and/or strip teams of future draft picks. That’s an indication of how seriously the league is taking the matter.
Money is one thing for coaches whose annual salaries are in the seven-figure range; taking away a coach’s ability to lead his team or add more talent in the offseason is quite another deal.
Recent concerning trends
The Tennessee Titans now have had multiple positive tests in recent days, and Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly has been postponed.
There is also concern about the Minnesota Vikings-Houston Texans game in Week 4, as those teams faced the Titans and Steelers in Week 3.
Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell recently broke down the implications of this recent outbreak — and what happens now going forward.
The NFL is clearly trying its best to avoid what baseball experienced early in its season: a rash of cancellations and delays to games. Whether its mask enforcement will help to curb the recent trend is another matter entirely, but it’s clear the league is trying to do what it can to help that effort as best it can now.
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