Coaches, staff must wear face masks in bench areas on game day

USA TODAY Sports

Nine days before the season opener, the NFL has updated its protocols.

It has tweaked both the travel rules, reducing the travel party, and its game-day protocols.

NFL owners now are required to follow COVID-19 testing requirements if they want access to the locker room, playing field or team charter. That mandate came from the owners health and safety committee, Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said Tuesday.

“We’ve continued to decrease the numbers overall on the team’s travel parties, to decrease the numbers of people that will be in team locker rooms,” Sills said. “Then, even up to and affecting our owners. We had a part of a protocol put in that ownership will have limited access, and will have to be tested if they want to be on the field and in the locker room.

“I think everyone has pitched in. That idea actually came from the owners health and safety committee themselves. Everyone recognizes that reducing numbers all around helps keep us safer.”

Another new game-day protocol calls for every coach and staff member in the bench area to wear a mask. That includes head coaches.

Some practices are inside; some are outside. Some coaches are wearing masks during practice; others aren’t. Some coaches and staff are taking masks off at times during practice.

They won’t have a choice come game day.

“Coaches and other staff in the bench areas during games now will be required to wear face coverings,” Sills said. “We think that’s an appropriate risk-mitigation step as well, so that’s something new you’ll see.”

8 responses to “Coaches, staff must wear face masks in bench areas on game day

  1. If everyone on the sideline has tested negative what’s the purpose of masks? Health or public perception?

  2. With all the communication coaches have to do over headsets during a game with artificial crowd noise, putting a muffler over your face is not going to be received well.

    “I want you to run 65 Toss Power Trap.”

    “50 Live Cross Flower Snap? I don’t see that on the play sheet.”

    “65 Toss Power Trap!”

    “60 Dive Moss Chowder Wrap?”

    “Great googly moogly.”

  3. Donna Martin Graduates says:
    September 1, 2020 at 6:22 pm
    If everyone on the sideline has tested negative what’s the purpose of masks? Health or public perception?

    5 2 Rate This

    ————-

    Always the perception…Goodell.

  4. The reasoning is that if a player contracts it on saturday and has one false negative they could spread it to the entire other team on gameday, a negative test isn’t a 100% guarantee and eventually with so many players and tests one player might slip through the cracks. And if an elderly coach got infected they would be more likely to experience newsworthy medical issues that could derail the NFL season. It’s all highly unlikely and the NFL probably is more concerned with optics but the coaches can just deal with the horrors of wearing a mask for the game and while that also is no guarantee it’s better for the optics and their health than them getting up in their players faces mid game with absolutely no protection.

  5. Lets go back 3 years and see how many test positive for covid 19 back then. I bet everyone would be shocked by positive tests.

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