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NFL calls out Gruden, other coaches for not wearing masks

Updated September 14, 2020 - 2:33 pm

The NFL on Monday called out Raiders coach Jon Gruden and other members of NFL coaching staffs for not wearing face coverings during the season’s opening weekend.

“I’m sure they’re directing that at me,” Gruden said Monday. “I’ve got to do a better job of keeping my mask over my face. It was really hot. You have a headset on and it’s hard to communicate at times with that mask. I just got to do a better job with that mask.”

The NFL stressed its mask-wearing requirement in a memo sent out to teams by Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations. It reinforced the league’s COVID-19 policy that coaches must wear masks on sidelines at all times or face individual and/or team accountability measures.

“Congratulations to all who have worked so tirelessly since March to make this season possible,” Vincent said in the memo. “We must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments.”

All NFL teams have been testing players and staff each day for the coronavirus, with the Raiders testing in a temporary structure located outside of their Henderson practice facility and team headquarters.

Last week, the NFL announced that of 44,510 tests administered between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5 just eight people tested positive for COVID-19, one player and seven staff members.

Vincent said the face covering requirement includes all staff that have bench access and is part of the NFL-NFL Players Association Game Day Protocol, which was created with the advice of infectious disease experts, club medical staffs and local and state governments.

“The face covering must be worn as designed so that it securely fits across the wearer’s nose and mouth to prevent the transmission of the virus,” Vincent said.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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