NFL’s COVID consequences

The NFL enforces new protocols after an outbreak of coronavirus cases


Logo Courtesy of the NFL

The NFL implements a new set of rules after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. The number of cases and games that were postponed was a sign to league officials that things needed to be changed in order to continue the season.

Dominic Humm, Staff Reporter

After postponing games due to a surge of new cases, the NFL adds new COVID-19 protocols to keep the league on track to finish the season. These new COVID-19 regulations were introduced after a meeting last Monday between league officials, general managers, team offices and head coaches. 

They knew they had to change some things after the Tennessee Titans reported having over 20 positive cases which resulted in the NFL having to postpone the Titans Week 4 and Week 5 games against the Steelers and the Ravens, respectively. The New England Patriots also reported having a few cases which caused a rescheduling of their game against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The new changes implemented a new league-wide surveillance system to monitor teams to see if they are abiding by the league rules, such as wearing masks in team facilities and wearing masks while traveling together. They also included new rules that limit free agent tryouts per week and require teams to develop new schedules to diminish the time that players spend in the locker room together in order to minimize contact. 

The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, followed the announcement of their rules to the public with a memo to all 32 teams reinforcing the importance of following these new, stricter guidelines. 

“If it is determined that club personnel or players failed to have followed the protocols, discipline will be issued and will escalate where noncompliance continues,” Goodell states in his memo. “Protocol violations that result in virus spread requiring adjustments to the schedule or otherwise impacting other teams will result in additional financial and competitive discipline, including the adjustment or loss of draft choices or even the forfeit of a game.”

Goodell used the memo to enforce that people are following these new COVID-19 regulations. He also talked about how the non-compliance of these rules could impact the business side of the NFL. He was not satisfied with how the rules were being abided by before the addition of the new mandates. 

Even though the NFL implemented these new guidelines, some players still don’t believe that the NFL cares. Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty and Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill were among those who expressed concerns about these regulations. 

It’s up to the players, coaches, administration and staff to take care of one another to make sure everyone is OK physically and mentally,” said McCourty in a press conference. “I think outside of here, the people that don’t have to walk in our building, whether it is the league office, whether it is the NFLPA, they don’t care.”

A lot of players agree with McCourty that the NFL just makes protocols that sound good and lead to games but it’s really the team organizations that do everything they can to keep each other safe.

The NFL believes that implementing these new mandates will lead to a successful season, but some players believe that the NFL can do more and that most of the responsibilities to keep each other safe from the virus are falling on the players and team staff. With that being said, both parties want to have a successful season, and they will do what is possible to achieve that goal.