NFL Implements COVID-19 Policy Changes, Raiders Players Fined

In response to the growing number of positive COVID-19 tests around the league, the NFL is taking action. In a call with all 32 teams the league office laid out a slew of new policy changes, and sternly warned teams about the consequences of not following them.

In the memo recapping the call, which you can read courtesy of this tweet from Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, they laid out some new protocols. The NFL and NFLPA jointly agreed to a “longer onboarding process” for free agent workouts, bans on gatherings outside the team facility, limits on the number of tryouts allowed per week, and the implementation of a “league-wide video monitoring system” to ensure teams are wearing masks and following protocols within their own buildings.

Details were sparse, but it sounds like Roger Goodell will now be watching what is going on within each facility. The line about gatherings outside the facility may have been directed toward the Raiders, who were just slapped with more fines after players were photographed mask-less at a fundraiser hosted by tight end Darren Waller. Waller was fined $30K for the incident, while Derek Carr, Derek Carrier, Zay Jones, Nevin Lawson, Erik Magnuson, Foster Moreau, Nathan Peterman, Hunter Renfrow, and Jason Witten were each fined $15K, according to a tweet from Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.

We just got word earlier that the Raiders had been fined $50K after an investigation into unauthorized locker room access, and the team and head coach Jon Gruden were fined hundreds of thousands for mask violations in Week 2.

Perhaps most significantly, the memo outlines potential extreme punishments for new violations. The memo says that any team that has a COVID-19 protocol violation which results in spreading of the virus that impacts scheduling or other teams may be subject to the loss of draft picks or potential forfeitures of games.

Forfeiting a game would be a truly nuclear option, and the fact that it was even broached shows how serious the league is taking threats to the rest of the season. That would seem to apply to a team like the Titans, which had a true outbreak which has caused the only actual postponement to date. The new free agent workout restrictions could make it harder for veterans on the market to find jobs. This surely isn’t the last we’ve heard on the subject, and we’ll keep you posted whenever anything new comes along.

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18 comments on “NFL Implements COVID-19 Policy Changes, Raiders Players Fined

  1. Appalachian_Outlaw

    If anyone doubts the NFL has a bias against the Raiders, here is a perfect example. They’re the only team that’s collectively been fined almost half a million dollars. Yet they’re not the only team with violations.

    • Oooof

      Did another team have a bunch of players photographed unmasked close to other people inside at a big event thrown by one of the players? I’m not saying other teams haven’t had missteps, but this one was like they were trying to flout the guidelines.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        It was a fundraiser for youth. They took the masks off for photographs. I’m not saying it was the best decision but it also wasn’t as if they were all out partying at a club. It just seems as if with the addition of new guidelines this could be one of those “don’t let it happen again” moments.

        • Oooof

          Rules are rules for a reason. There’s a pandemic. The country club was fined by the city, too. This isn’t just NFL stuff. It’s great that they all wanted to show up for a good cause and for a teammate, but for now, do it by zoom or do it outdoors and/or with masks.

          • Yes take pictures with kids on zoom…Roger Goodell found a way to keep tabs on every club within their own facilities, there will only be fixed nfl games this year, don’t put money into the sports books

          • compassrose

            Seattle was fined close to that. Then a couple others forget who. Stop whining you just moved into a sparkling new stadium and the only money your owner put in was from loans.

            Hopefully he can make those payments after 3 years in Vegas when the locals get tired of a team with an odd owner and an overpaid coach who is just avg. I can’t think that many people will travel from the EC to watch their team.

            Less than half full stadiums don’t pay the bills. I guess when he loses the team he can go work as clown in a circus. Are their circuses still around?

    • sports is life

      Bc they didn’t follow the procedures

      Get over the paranoid existence

  2. jchamblee24

    Yet the Raiders don’t have one positive test in season. I get the fact that the NFL is wanting to show an image that they are concerned, but the coaches have to wear masks and the players don’t. It doesn’t make any sense when everyone is tested so much and they are negative, but still have to wear masks. If there was a breakout or even positive tests, I could see the fines being warranted if their were violations, but that hasn’t happened.

    • mcmillankmm

      And that’s the attitude right there that keeps the virus from going away

      • Marvels MagaMan

        1. You’re not going to completely eliminate covid. Common cold, influenza, and others in the same family have been around forever. Idk why people think this is something that’s just going to go away.

        2. 210,000 deaths……..and the breakdown shows…..
        94% or so had underlying health conditions
        90%+ were 55 or older.
        42% were linked to nursing homes……where 5 democratic govenors forced infected into nursing homes. which is why the DOJ is investigating 4 of them.

        3. Yeah the 74 year old president who lives off McDonald’s, ice cream, is overweight, and old according to one side beat covid in 3 days using treatments that are available to the vast majority of the public.

        • Oooof

          You’re welcome to scramble to put asterisks next to 210,000 deaths and not think you’re a BSing sociopath, but you can’t ask me but to think that.

    • Oooof

      People don’t have full control over whether they’re exposed and infected. They do have control over whether they follow behavioral guidelines designed to reduce risk. That’s why you enforce the guidelines. If players and other personnel get complacent in their behavior and an outbreak does occur, no amount of fines will make up for having to cancel games. And that’s strictly looking at it from the perspective of league concerns.

    • I give no fox

      I just got an STD test and came back clean, guess I can stop wearing condoms now since I didn’t test positive

  3. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    I don’t understand the problem. It’s no big deal.

    If any of the players tests positive, all they have to do is helicopter them to a world class hospital, give them oxygen, give them steroids, get the FDA to approve the emergency use of an experimental treatment and then send them home with a team of doctors to monitor them 24/7.

    You know, no big deal.

    • Marvels MagaMan

      Or just be given Remdisivir
      that’s been around a while as an ebola treatment and given the steroid Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that mitigates inflammation in the lungs and tempers the patient’s immune system. The drug has a long history of use for a wide variety of ailments, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, and certain endocrine disorders, and has been on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medications since 1977.

      But yeah, its the experimental cocktail that saved him….. not Remdisivir that’s been in testing for a months for covid treatment and the steroid that’s been around since 1977.

      Also, players are 21-40(if that) not 74. Doubt they’d need to be treated in the first place or given anything except ibuprofen and nyquil. But yeah compare men in the prime of their life in peak physical condition to a 74 year old president thats “obese” living off McDonald’s and Ice Cream that beat covid. Great comparison.

  4. crosseyedlemon

    Goodell’s “I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down” routine is beyond comical. The idiot has reinstated Josh Gordon 6 or 7 times so nobody takes his disciplinary threats seriously.

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