NFL Bolsters COVID-19 Protocols and Guidelines
The NFL is not messing around when it comes to policing its players in the 2020 season. The threat of COVID-19 infiltrating the league has reached a new peak during the past week, which saw the Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game postponed to later in the season following an outbreak of 20 cases with Tennessee. Then, the Patriots' game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs had to be moved to Monday night following a positive test from Pats' QB Cam Newton.
The added security from the league includes the introduction of a league wide video system to monitor whether players and staff were wearing personal protective equipment like masks while inside team facilities and while traveling. The league is also limiting the number of free agent tryouts per week and placing bans on gatherings outside team facilities.
The league isn't messing around, nor do they want teams to think they're bluffing when it comes to potential punishment. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in his statement, “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.”
Ken Belson, who covers the NFL for the New York Times, joined The Drive on Tuesday to break down the new protocols and discuss just how pliable the NFL can get with its schedule as it attempts to forge on in 2020.