The new NFL Covid-19 related rules and protocols

Joshua Lee

            With the new NFL season upon us a lot of things have changed. Last season Covid-19 really impacted everyone on a high level. For the first time in NFL history, The NFL draft was 100% virtual.

The 2020 Draft was supposed to be hosted in Las Vegas and was going to be huge and attract a lot of people, not only to see the future superstars in the NFL, but to also get a chance to see the brand-new stadium that the Las Vegas Raiders are playing in today. One fan said that “That draft was something that no one ever thought would happen.”

The NFL commissioner hosting the virtual draft

This is only one of the ways that Covid-19 affected the NFL. Once the draft was over everyone was wondering how they will be able to watch their favorite teams and new members of the team. The NFL went on to tell people that for the 2020 season fans could not be in attendance for games.

 Only a few teams said that they were going to have fans in attendance for their games. Those teams were: Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins. Even though these teams allowed fans at their games, they did not let the stadiums reach full capacity.

NFL game with no fans in attendance

As the season went on things got more and more difficult for the NFL and their players. All NFL players were supposed to be tested for Covid-19 on a regular basis, so that they may play on gamedays. Some players were not following these guidelines and some even caught Covid.

 For those who caught covid they were penalized by the team and by the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. They didn’t get to play on gamedays, and they were not paid for that game either. This hurt some teams because if a vast number of players caught covid, then the whole game got cancelled and rescheduled for another day.

 These rules stayed the same all throughout the season. Another fan said, “My team (Tennessee Titans) had to get two games rescheduled because of Covid-19 protocols.” The 2020 season ended with the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl. Over the off-season the commissioner made up some new rules regarding Covid-19.

One of the new protocols that the NFL came up with was players being vaccinated. The Vaccine was not mandatory, but they did strongly convince the players to get the vaccine and the penalty for unvaccinated players became more severe.

NFL player getting the vaccine

The NFL allowed more fans to come to stadiums so that they could cheer on their teams. Players and fans are still required to wear mask and facial coverings to protect themselves and the people around them. Another fan said, “This whole mask thing started in 2019 and were still doing it to this day, this is the new normal.”

This new season will be very interesting not only for fans but for players and the commissioner himself, on how they will take precautions of Covid-19 impacting their season.

Categories: Features, Sports

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