The NFL issued revised game-day COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday. Those protocols create a significant change when it comes to players on the sidelines in two NFL cities.
“[M]asks will be mandatory for all individuals (including players) on the sidelines in at [sic] Buffalo and San Francisco,” the protocols explain at page 43, footnote 8.
That’s a broad requirement, applying to all players who at any give time are in uniform but not in the game.
Currently, players on the sidelines rarely wear masks, a visual that seems odd at best when juxtaposed against the non-players who are wearing masks on the sideline. For Sunday’s Dolphins-49ers game and for the Week Six Chiefs-Bills game, the league wants everyone on the sidelines to wear a mask at all times.
Whether that actually happens is a different story.
UPDATE 11:30 a.m. ET: The league made masks mandatory in Buffalo and San Francisco for all players not in games prior to the start of the regular season, in early September. Compliance has been extremely spotty, at best. Will that change? We’ll see.