After sending out an official warning early in the season that anyone not wearing a mask and adhering to health protocols could face a punishment, the NFL cracked down and fined multiple head coaches and teams. The hefty fines from Week 2 should have been enough remind the coaches to cover their mouth and nose with some sort of face shield or masks, but some still do not get the message.
One still struggling to remember to wear a face covering is Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.
Having watched every second of this game, the camera panned to Gruden 23 times by my count and his mask was worn properly on 3 of those 23 occasions. Offensive coordinator didn't have his on properly either. #RaiderNation #COVID19 https://t.co/CA10pCPAuH pic.twitter.com/Tqfxjyw7pC— Rod Francis (@InRodWeTrustMTL) October 4, 2020
Gruden was fined $100,000 for his Monday Night Football mask mishap from the Week 2 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, and the league also hit the Raiders with a $250,000 fine.
Personally, six figures out of my pocket would be a great reminder to never get caught without the proper face coverings again, but images of Gruden on the sideline of Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills shows the fine did not make as big of an impact on him as the league had hoped.
The NFL has not yet penalized Gruden for a second time, however, the coach's actions come as the league is facing its first serious COVID-19 situation
The Tennessee Titans had an outbreak in their organization, causing their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to be postponed. After positive tests on both sides, including Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, the Kansas City Chiefs game against New England was moved from Sunday afternoon to Monday night.
Preventing outbreaks and positive tests remains crucial to finishing out the season as scheduled, so it would not be surprising to see the league get even more serious about ensuring organizations follow the rules.