The NFL will wrap up a successful Week 1 tonight.
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Texans in the first game of the season on Thursday. We were then treated to a full slate of games on Sunday, highlighted by Cam Newton’s first victory as a Patriot, Tom Brady’s first loss with Tampa Bay and a somewhat controversial Rams’ victory over the Cowboys.
Tonight, the league will wrap up its opening weekend with two Monday Night Football games between the Giants-Steelers and Titans-Broncos.
While the NFL has a lot to be excited about, the league sent a warning to teams on Monday morning, reminding everyone of the sideline protocols.
NFL exec Troy Vincent sent a "sharply worded" memo to clubs today, reminding coaches on importance of wearing face coverings on sideline, as @SeifertESPN reported. Different coaches approached mask rules in different ways — and many noticed. If it continues, fines will ensue.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 14, 2020
ProFootballTalk obtained a copy of the memo:
“[W]e must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments,” Vincent writes in the memo, a copy of which PFT has obtained. “Becoming careless or ignoring face covering and physical distancing requirements will put the 2020 season at risk.”
The memo then reminds the recipients that the protocol “requires all individuals with bench area access (including coaches and members of the club medical staff) to wear face coverings at all times.” (Emphasis in original.)
“Two of our stadiums are in locations in which this requirement is mandatory for all individuals, including players,” Vincent writes. “Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs. Wearing a mask does not mean using it as a chin strap or hanging it from one’s neck. The face covering must be worn as designed so that it securely fits across the wearer’s nose and mouth to prevent the transmission of the virus.”
The NFL has had tremendous COVID-19 testing results so far, but the league can’t afford to relax its policies just because the season began.
If the league is going to have a successful, 17-week regular season followed by a full postseason, everyone will need to remain vigilant.