NFL Doubles Down on Enforcing Mask Rules for Coaches During Games

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Gillette Stadium on September 27, 2020
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After the first week of the 2020 season, the league told teams that masks were not optional.

The National Football League is serious about coaches and team personnel wearing masks on the sidelines during games — and on Wednesday, the brass doubled down.

In a memo to teams obtained by the Associated Press, the NFL said suspensions are now a possibility for coaches who do not wear masks.

“We will continue to address lack of compliance with accountability measures that may also include suspensions of persons involved, and/or the forfeiture of a draft choice(s),” wrote  Troy Vincent, who oversees NFL football operations, as cited by the AP.

In the middle of September, after the first week of the 2020 season, the NFL told teams that masks for coaches and team personnel were not optional, and those who did not wear them (or wear them properly) could be fined.

"The NFL-NFLPA gameday protocol, which reflects the advice of infectious disease experts, club medical staffs and local and state governmental regulations requires all individuals with bench area access (including coaches and members of the club medical staff) to wear face coverings at all times," read the letter cited by ESPN at the time. "Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs."

Coaches are allowed the option of a mask, neck gaiter and/or face shield.

It was announced this week the Steelers-Titans was postponed after nine members of the Titans organization tested positive for COVID-19 this week.