In an effort to keep coronavirus from potentially spreading inside of a team's locker room, the NFL has put strict protocols into place for the 2020 season and it appears the Las Vegas Raiders are under investigation for violating at least one of those protocols.
According to ESPN.com, the NFL believes that the Raiders allowed a non-credentialed team employee to enter the locker room on Monday night following the team's 34-24 home win over the Saints. Normally, it wouldn't be a big deal if an extra team employee ended up in the locker room after the game, but 2020 isn't a normal year.
Under the new rules that were implemented for this season, only 40 employees from each team have the authorization to enter a locker room, and although that total doesn't include players, it does include the general manager, the coaching staff, the athletic training staff and the equipment staff. Each team is also allowed to permit one team security person and one employee from the team's PR department along with up to three members of the team's ownership group.
In the Raiders' situation, the league wants to know how an employee who didn't have credentialed access to the team's locker room was able to make it through the multiple security checkpoints that are in place before someone would be able to get to the locker room. If the Raiders are found to have done anything wrong, the NFL has the power to punish them, and it's likely that punishment would be a fine.
Through two weeks, the NFL hasn't been tolerating any violations of its COVID-19 protocols. The league has already handed out nearly $2 million in fines with most of those going to five coaches -- Jon Gruden, Vic Fangio, Sean Payton, Pete Carroll and Kyle Shanahan -- who were all fined $100,000 each. Their teams were also fined $250,000 each for the violations, which means the NFL has already handed out $1.75 million in fines. The fact that Raiders have already violated the league's COVID protocols once could end up working against them in the current investigation.
As for the coaches who violated protocols last week, you're likely not going to seem them make the same mistake twice. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that second-time violators could potentially face a suspension, higher fines or even the loss of a draft pick. For more details from La Canfora, be sure to click here.