NFL reminds teams that “wearing of protective equipment is not universal”

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Although the NFL apparently won’t be handing out another round of six-figure fines for non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols, the NFL has reminded its teams that more work needs to be done.

In a September 30 memo to the 32 coaches, a copy of which PFT has obtained, General Managers, team presidents, chief executives, and others, NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent points out that the league saw “significant progress” in Week Three regarding the requirement that coaches and non-player personnel wear face coverings at all times. However, the memo notes that “wearing of protective equipment is not universal, and this lack of compliance creates unnecessary risk to game day participants.”

The memo comes at a time when the league is trying to fully and completely assess the outbreak in Tennessee, and to devise the best plan for proceeding with the Steelers-Titans game scheduled for Sunday.

“We are only through Week 3 of the season,” Vincent writes. “If we are to play and full and uninterrupted season, we all must remain committed to our efforts to mitigate the risk of transmission of the the virus. Inconsistent adherence to health and safety protocols, such as wearing face coverings and observing physical distancing requirements will put the 2020 season at risk.”

The memo also points out that selective or inconsistent compliance can impact fan confidence in the pandemic protocols, and in turn the “competitive fairness and integrity of the NFL season.” That’s a great point; the overriding goal is to get the games played. Periodic outbreaks could create situations in which the games are played under situations that aren’t as fair as they can be for both teams, especially if for example the Steelers are able to practice all week, the Titans aren’t, and they still play on Sunday.

Vincent concludes the memo by reminding teams that discipline can and will be imposed, and that beyond fines there could be suspensions of involved persons and/or the forfeiture of draft choices if game-day protocols are not properly respected.

14 responses to “NFL reminds teams that “wearing of protective equipment is not universal”

  1. I don’t get the NFL allowing the use of the face shields in lieu of the regular mask. We all know the mask will not totally eliminate the spread of covid, but those face shield type seem to be virtually useless. The CDC does not recommend them. Therefore, I don’t see how the NFL can fine personnel for not wearing a mask, and then allow a face shield to satisfy the mask rule.

  2. So far the NFL overall has handled covid issues pretty well, considering this was the first issue to date. Individual coaches and teams, not as well. Those $100,000 fines for non-compliance coaches were a good start. They should keep going in that direction.

    While I thought Troy Vincent was overrated as a player, I think he might be underrated as an NFL official. They dump on him all the issues nobody else at the shield wants to touch – like this one.

  3. I’d like to know what proof there is that any Titans did anything wrong. They could have caught it pumping gas or buying groceries. Other teams will have positive test, that could be your team.

  4. if they fined coaches and teams 1 week, then the next week choose not to, what’s the point? is this some clever plan to get the fines rescinded in arbitration?

  5. Hey Sean McVay…The mask goes over your nose and mouth, not over your neck…I’m pretty sure you don’t have gills.

  6. If any non player team member is on the sideline with no mask, have the uniform monitor note it and suspend that person from the sideline the next game. Or if a game official sees a non player with the team not wearing a mask, throw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That will get the attention of the head coach very quickly. 15 or 30 penalty yards will get their attention.

  7. No fines equals no compliance from current offenders and the ” if he can do it, I will to” people will to hop on board next. Way to go NFL!

  8. Did the memo say “not universal” because that doesn’t make sense to me. “Not optional” make sense but hey I’m just a dude.

  9. But it was fine for the NFL’s three women on the field – 2 coaches and a ref to pose together for pictures with no masks?? (Of course in the picture the nfl promotes, all 3 pulled their masks up…) This is ALL optics.

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