Post-game protocols routinely are being violated

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Much was made in July about the ban on post-game jersey swaps and then, eventually, a sponsorship-opportunity workaround. The document preventing players from lingering on the field to remove their jerseys, sign them, and trade them with a player on the other team has another important provision that routinely is being violated.

From the first half of the same sentence banning jersey swaps, there’s this: “Teams are prohibited from post-game interactions within 6 feet of one another.”

Anyone who has watched any NFL game this year has seen those interactions happening far closer than six feet apart. The lone exception? Last Thursday’s Broncos-Jets game, after which Denver coach Vic Fangio hustled his team to the locker room not to avoid infection but to avert an imbroglio.

The most alarming example of this provision being violated happened on Monday night. After the Patriots-Chiefs game, New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a facemask-to-facemask interaction, putting them as close together as two people in NFL uniform could be.

The following morning, a swab of Gilmore’s nose generated a positive outcome for COVID-19. It’s entirely possible that Gilmore was shedding virus while face to face with Mahomes.

At a time when the league seems to be doing a lot of huffing and puffing about COVID-19 protocols, what happened to the rule requiring players to stay at least six feet apart after games? Even if the league isn’t enforcing it, the teams should be.

Failure to respect that restriction on Monday night means that Mahomes, the Chiefs, and their fans will have to spend the next week or so worrying that the virus is incubating in Mahomes’ body, and that he too will eventually test positive.

35 responses to “Post-game protocols routinely are being violated

  1. Well Vic Fangio was criticized for skipping the post game handshake so I can players not wanting to make news for refusing to shake hands after the game.

  2. If my 11-year-old’s soccer team can refrain from post-game handshakes, etc., guys who are paid millions should be able to do it. Same with coaches keeping masks on.

    Not that difficult.

  3. Wait just a second here….. the INCUBATION PERIOD is a well known FACT & yet the LEAGUE still had the game played & IGNORED safety protocols in doing so….. so who’s REALLY TO BLAME HERE??!!
    Can’t have it both ways!!!!

  4. Not a good look.

    Though I am 100% sure that if Mahomes tests positive the league will postpone the Chiefs’ game.

  5. They should shut the league down for 2 weeks and have the players and staff quarantine. It can help the players recover from any injuries and rest their bodies. Any player who tests positive that 3rd week suspend for the rest of the year (and work out compensation with the union).

  6. Game should have been postponed, but Goodell insisted on going forward. This is exactly what happens when you hire an incompetent Commissioner. The NHL and NBA do not appear to be struggling. Baseball had its issues early on but got that sorted out.

  7. So the post game handshake is a no no but banging bodies and helmets together on the field for 60 minutes is ok? Tell me you can see the craziness of this?

  8. I still don’t understand why the NFL didn’t make faceshields mandatory. Just like visors that extend a bit further down to cover the mouth.

    Also, yeah ban the crap in the picture also.

    Also, shutting the league down for 2 weeks really isn’t a bad idea at all.

  9. In the picture and in general, Mahomes could also be shedding the virus unwittingly given the Chiefs practice squad QB tested positive last week and they are obviously in the same QB meetings/room whether they are 6 feet apart or not. Obviously, the incubation period varies from person to person and can range 1-14 days (see Titans). As such, it was massive mistake to have the Pats fly on Monday and play as now the “spread” could go from the teams to their families/communities.

  10. You know Goodell and the league understand the Chiefs and Mahomes can do no wrong, so they will do whatever they can to help them out.

  11. Sending NE to fly on game day to KC without knowing who had already been infected was a very irresponsible move by the league.

  12. No post game contact …..fines will immediately stop this practice. Pre game contacts w/o masks also have been observed.

  13. I’m most certain that if Mahomes does contract the virus, the league would sweep it under the rug and not report. Whatever it takes for the league to get them back to the Super Bowl (again).

  14. “Sending NE to fly on game day to KC without knowing who had already been infected was a very irresponsible move by the league”.
    ——

    Everyone who went to KC had tested negative on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. So they did what the NFL asked of them. The issue, though, is that incubation times can exceed that 3-4 days of negative testing. But the NFL doesn’t seem to “get it” just like they never understood that colder temperatures cause a pressure drop in footballs.

  15. Patrick Mahomes has an expecting fiancé at home. I’d be besides myself if I was in his situation right now. There was no good reason to play that game so soon after Cam tested positive. The NFL may have doomed itself, but at least we all saw that exciting Mahomes-Hoyer duel unfold. A billion dollar joke league.

  16. The NFL has no set policy for when they will postpone games and is doing it all case-by-case, seat-of-their-pants style. And the policies they do have are contradictory and largely for show. They’re a full contact sport who doesn’t require the players to wear any sort of facial coverings either during play or on the sidelines. But for some reason the coaches need to wear masks and shaking an opponent’s hand two seconds after having tackled him is a no-no.

  17. I feel pretty comfortable saying most fans DONT CARE if the NFL makes the players just STOP hugging and congregating at the 50 yard line after the final whistle. Just walk off the field and go to your respective locker rooms. It’s only for one year….geez

  18. tb12greatest says:
    October 7, 2020 at 10:11 am
    Game should have been postponed, but Goodell insisted on going forward. This is exactly what happens when you hire an incompetent Commissioner. The NHL and NBA do not appear to be struggling. Baseball had its issues early on but got that sorted out.
    —————————————————————————————-
    NBA and NHL were in a BUBBLE

  19. As a Chiefs fan, that pic of Gilmore and Mahomes scares me. I understand players wanting to exchange high 5’s and things after the game, but they are going to have to tell the teams to just leave the field separately when the game is over.

    And it’s crazy because they just played a full game against those other players. It’s just crazy

  20. As some else pointed out above, Players are smashing together face to face during the game but somehow doing to the same thing socially after the game is deemed more dangerous?

  21. PFTSelectiveCensorship says:
    October 7, 2020 at 11:40 am
    tb12greatest says:
    October 7, 2020 at 10:11 am
    Game should have been postponed, but Goodell insisted on going forward. This is exactly what happens when you hire an incompetent Commissioner. The NHL and NBA do not appear to be struggling. Baseball had its issues early on but got that sorted out.
    —————————————————————————————-
    NBA and NHL were in a BUBBLE

    _______________________________

    Exactly

  22. The league office is lost they have changed so many do’s and don’t they are now completely lost

  23. Beat the stuffing out of each other for 60 minutes (face to face) but a post game meeting is the issue. Right……

  24. I do think it’s weird that the players feel compelled to hug and shake hands after games when they know there’s a risk some of them have Covid. Gilmore was never close to Mahomes during the game. No reason he should be close to him after the game.

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