COVID-19 hit the NFL hard over Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a situation so severe that the league shut down most in-person activities for Monday and Tuesday.
In the first two weeks of November, the league averaged 54 positive tests among players and personnel. This was an increase from six positive tests per week throughout the month of September.
The NFL upped its COVID-19 protocols last week, which included a mandate that players wear masks when they are on the sideline. It has also looked to increase fines for teams that have broken the rules.
- The New Orleans Saints were fined $500,000 and a seventh-round draft pick after players had a postgame celebration without masks. The Saints were previously fined $250,000 after head coach Sean Payton didn’t properly wear a mask on the sideline during a game.
- The New England Patriots were fined $350,000 for breaking protocols related to quarterback Cam Newton’s positive COVID-19 test.
- The Las Vegas Raiders were fined $500,000 and a sixth-round draft pick earlier this month after multiple violations.
Arizona 49ers? Santa Clara County, home of the San Francisco 49ers, has prohibited contact sports for a minimum of three weeks and instituted a 14-day quarantine for those traveling into the county. With home games in San Francisco unlikely, it’s possible the team plays its final three “home” games at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.