American Football

Report: NFL to require some masks, social distancing

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ByReuters
10/07/2020 at 00:49 | Updated 10/07/2020 at 00:51

Welcome to the NFL amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The league sent a memo to teams that outlines what will and won't be allowed
on game days in 2020, and it includes a mask requirement for some team
personnel as well as a ban on players swapping jerseys after game, per NFL
Network reporters.

The network's Ian Rapoport said everyone who will be in the bench area will
have their temperature taken before entering the stadium, and if it registers
100.4 or more, that person will be denied entry. Coaches and players will not
need to wear masks, but everyone else on the sideline for a team will.

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And after the games, the NFL intends to keep teams socially distanced,
forbidding "postgame interactions within 6 feet of each other," and
prohibiting the exchange of jerseys, Tom Pelissero reported.

That presumably eliminates the postgame greeting between head coaches and
opposing quarterbacks, as well as the frequent gathering of players from both
teams for a prayer.

NFL.com also reported that both teams must travel to the stadium by bus and
that media will not have access to the locker rooms.

Pelissero reported later Thursday night that the players have yet to agree to
the proposed protocols, and that the negotiations -- including those on the
jersey swaps -- are "still a work in progress."

It didn't take long for Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers to offer up
his take on the new jersey-exchange rule, even though Rapoport said the NFL
Players Association signed off on it.

"This is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell. Players can go
engage in a full contact game and do it safely. However, it is deemed unsafe
for them to exchange jerseys after said game," Sherman tweeted, followed by
laughter emojis.

The 2020 NFL season is scheduled to begin Sept. 10 when the Super Bowl
champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans.

--Field Level Media

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