NFL Continues to Crackdown on Teams for COVID-19 Protocol Violations

The New Orleans Saints are the latest team to come under fire for violating the NFL’s newest COVID-19 protocol memo.

New Orleans reportedly faces significant discipline for failing to wear face masks during their postgame celebration after a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football.

The league sent out a memo with updated COVID-19 protocols on November 3rd, calling for broadened use of face coverings and improved social distancing.

All players and staff must wear masks or double-layered gaiters in the locker room on gameday—prior to the game, during halftime, and postgame.

NFL League memo

The Saints could be facing a punishment similar to that of the Las Vegas Raiders; a $500,000 fine, head coach Jon Gruden fined an additional $150,000 and the loss of a sixth-round pick. Sean Payton has already been fined in the past for failing to wear a face mask during Week 2.

Other teams have celebrated without facemasks previously, but the Saints celebration is the first to take place after the recent memo outlining additional rules was sent out. So far, New Orleans is the only team to be fined since the new update but it is important to note that they were not the only team to have broken the rules.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills also tweeted out videos of players in groups without proper masks.

As the NFL’s plan to prevent the spread of the coronavirus continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see whether or not these punishments are evenly distributed. The latest team to receive a positive COVID-19 test is the Cleveland Browns.

Photo: (Isaac Brekken/AP Photo)

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