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Friday, October 23, 2020

NFL fines two more coaches, teams for coronavirus mask violations, source says

Head coach Jon Gruden talks with quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders during a timeout in the NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at Allegiant Stadium on September 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

The National Football League issued fines to two more coaches who failed to wear masks on the sidelines as required by the league’s Covid-19 protocols, a source told CNBC on Tuesday.

Head coaches Jon Gruden and Sean Payton appeared on the sidelines not wearing masks during Monday night’s Las Vegas Raiders versus New Orleans Saints contest on ESPN.

Both the Raiders and the Saints were each fined $250,000, a league source told CNBC. Gruden and Payton were each fined $100,000, the source said.

The NFL did not respond to a request for comment by CNBC.

After the Raiders defeated the Saints, 34-24, Gruden, who said he had the virus, told reporters he’s sensitive to the matter but would pay any fine the NFL issued.

ESPN reported Monday the NFL fined three other head coaches $100,000 each for not wearing masks and also issued $250,000 fines to the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and San Francisco 49ers.

Including the Raiders and Saints, the fines would total $1.7 million for protocol violations for the NFL heading into Week 3 of its 2020 season. Additional fines could be issued to other coaches and teams, too. 

Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints talks with side judge Laird Hayes during the first half of the NFL game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on September 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Though the league tests both players and staff weekly, the league still mandates team staff use a protective mask during games to combat the potential spread of coronavirus.  

As of Sept. 16, the NFL reported seven positive tests, including two players, of 40,479 samples. The NFL said it had eight positive tests one week prior.

According to USA Today, Troy Vincent, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, reminded teams to face “accountability measures” if caught violating mask protocols.

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