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Goodell: New NFL Protocols Come with Stiff Penalties

Paul Steinbach

Implemented a new set of COVID-19 protocols Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called on league members to "recommit ourselves to our protocols and best practices for the duration of the season."

As reported by ESPN, the memo comes after an outbreak within the Tennessee Titans organization and additional positive tests elsewhere forced alterations to the Week 4 schedule.

According to the memo, the league will now:

* Require a longer onboarding process for free-agent tryouts

* Limitations on the number of tryouts per week

* Ban on gatherings outside the club facility

* Implement a video monitoring system to ensure compliance with protocols.

In addition to the new requirements, the NFL has recommended taking all meetings virtual and wearing masks or shields during practices and walk-throughs. It also has suggested a decrease in the size of the traveling party and a reduction of the amount of time spent in lunch rooms and locker rooms.

Moving forward, Goodell wrote, the league will issue discipline that could include loss of draft choices or forfeit of a game if protocol violations occur that result in the spread of the virus, adjustments to schedule or other unspecified league impact. The NFL has so far fined five head coaches $100,000 each for their failure to wear masks on the sidelines during games.

"The protocols do not implement themselves," Goodell added, "and our progress thus far cannot lead us to complacency. Complacency is our shared opponent."

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