NEW YORK (UPI) — NFL players will be required to wear face coverings on the sidelines if they are not wearing helmets or entering games — and will be disciplined if they don’t — as an added COVID-19 precaution, the league announced.
The NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams Monday to detail updates to its COVID-19 protocol. The memo said teams are required to enforce the rules, and violations by players or staff members will result in league discipline for teams.
NFL to reduce number of people allowed to travel to away games
The league’s updated protocol also includes reductions to the number of people allowed to travel with teams to road games, which is limited to 62. Teams must submit a list of players eligible to attend road games to the league office the day before the games.
Play-callers now are required to wear a face mask or a double-layered gaiter in addition to a face shield — a requirement that applied previously to all other coaches who chose to wear face shields.
Postgame interactions also will be limited going forward.
Starting Monday, access to team facilities will be limited to “essential football, essential support or other medical/special advisers.” Other personnel must work remotely or at a separate facility.
NFL to enforce the wearing of masks on planes and busses
From Week 13 on, the league said, all members of team travel parties must wear N95 or KN95 masks on team planes and team busses.
Ten NFL players were added to reserve/COVID-19 lists Monday, according to the league’s transaction wire. Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney was one of them.
The Bills said Monday that Sweeney will miss the rest of the season after he also developed myocarditis. Sweeney tested positive for COVID-19 before he developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to irregular heartbeats, heart failure, and sudden death.
On Saturday, the NFL placed all 32 teams in the intensive COVID-19 protocol for the rest of the season.
Reporting by Alex Butler
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