The NFL has expanded its mandate for sideline mask use and threatens discipline for those who violate the league’s updated COVID-19 protocols.
The league told the teams in a memo Monday that players who do not switch or prepare to enter the field of play and who are not wearing their helmets should wear a mask or a double-layer cover on the sidelines starting this week.
Play callers must now wear a mask, even if they have a face shield. Post-game interactions between players and staff will be limited. Players and team personnel must also wear masks and may greet opponents shortly after matches.
“Players who don’t wear masks on the sidelines will be subject to discipline,” the league said in its memo. “Clubs are obliged to enforce these rules. Violations by players and / or staff will result in accountability measures being imposed on the club. It is strongly recommended that each club appoint one or two persons on the bench to ensure compliance with these rules. “
The league also reduces the maximum number of players allowed to travel to 62. Any player traveling to a match, including injured players who are not eligible to play, counts towards the maximum of 62 players.
From week 13, all members of a team’s tour group are required to wear N95 or KN95 masks on team planes and buses.
Beginning November 30, access to a team’s training facility will be limited to essential football and support personnel during the time players and coaches are present.
The competition also limits the number of specialists such as chiropractors, massage therapists, and hairdressers allowed to enter a club’s facility to five each week.