New York – On November 3, a new NFL memo was sent to all teams that urges players to wear masks. They must be worn on the sidelines and in locker rooms. Home teams must provide 250 disposable masks on each sideline.
Reason for the new guidelines
An NFL memo sent to all teams urges players to wear masks. These guidelines come after six players were labeled as “high-risk close contact.” The players in question were in close proximity with another player whose test came back positive. As a result, all six players must seclude themselves for six days.
As a regular precaution, pre-game specimen collections provide test results each week. All 30 teams have a testing site at their respective headquarters. The players take either the COVID-19 test by nasal swab or an antibody test through blood samples. According to medical experts, if all Americans wore masks, the number of high risk individuals would be “significantly reduced.”
Additional guidelines ask players to avoid pre and post-game social interactions. Also, benches on the sidelines must expand to the 20-yard line and remain 30 feet away from the field.
Vikings QB, Kirk Cousins, claims that his opinion on wearing a mask is “really about respecting other people.” But he says that he doesn’t worry if the disease “takes him out.”
Coaching without masks
A similar memo issued last month, now warrants that coaches must wear masks on the sidelines. It states that failure to wear a mask while approaching an official will result in strict consequences. These could include fines, suspensions, and/or forfeit of a draft choice per violation. A handful of coaches have been fined already for failure to properly wear a mask on the sidelines.
Will players be able to adhere to these new guidelines?
Thumbnail Credit: Jason Getz/USA Today Sports (image may be subject to copyright)