Major updates to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols were sent to all clubs on Monday in a memo obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Among the updates are a mandate for players to wear face coverings on the sideline if they are not wearing a helmet or entering a game starting with games played this Thursday. Those who do not subject to discipline.
The memo delivered a particularly pointed message noted by Pelissero: “Players who fail to wear masks on the sidelines will be subject to discipline. Clubs are required to enforce these rules. Violations by players and/or staff will result in accountability measures being imposed upon the Club.”
As coronavirus positive cases rise throughout the country, it is another step taken by the league to aid in combatting the spread of COVID-19 and it altering the 2020 season.
Some additional points of note:
- Beginning Week 12, the maximum number of players able to travel to road games will be reduced to 62. To ensure equity, teams must submit a list of players designated as eligible to attend and/or play by 4 p.m. ET the day before game day to the league office.
- Play-callers will no be required to wear a face mask or double-layered gaiter in addition to a face shied to be consistent with all other coaches who choose to wear face shields.
- Postgame interactions between players and/or staff will be limited.
- Starting Nov. 30, access to club facilities will be limited to those designated as “Essential Football, Essential Support or Other Medical/Special Services.” All others must now work remotely or a separate facility.
- Beginning with Week 13 games, all members of teams’ traveling parties must wear N95 or KN95 masks on the team plane and on the team bus.
The memo was sent on a day in which notable NFL players such as Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen, Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson and multiple Baltimore Ravens were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
All 32 NFL teams currently are operating under the league’s COVID-19 intensive protocol for the remainder of the 2020 season.
The full updated protocol can be viewed below.