The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that continues to plague the nation has hit the NFL hard during the 2020 season.
Numerous players and staff members have either been infected or forced to quarantine and has resulted in closures of training facilities and rescheduling of games. The NFL’s coronavirus protocols have helped prevent the virus to a certain extent, but teams unfortunately have still had to make do with certain players being unavailable.
The Las Vegas Raiders have been one team that has been noticeably affected as they have missed starting left tackle Trent Brown due to COVID-19. However, the Raiders have also come under fire by the league for their failure to meet procedures and protocols and were recently fined and docked a 2021 sixth-round pick.
Mark Davis came out and expressed his displeasure with the ruling and defended his organization, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN:
“The fines are draconian,” Davis told ESPN on Friday. “But we will appeal them. Outside the organization, people have the wrong impression about the Raiders. We take it seriously. It’s unfortunate that certain things outside the protocol are the things being focused on, rather than the positive steps we’ve taken as an organization. You’ve been in the building. You’ve seen it.”
Davis also reiterated that he and the Raiders are abiding by the rules:
“We definitely take the virus seriously,” Davis said. “We definitely take the protocols seriously. We are not willingly violating protocol. And anyone inside our building will attest to that.”
The fine of $500,000 seems excessive but that is likely because this is not the first time Las Vegas has been penalized for not following mandated protocols. The Raiders and Jon Gruden were fined $250,000 and $100,000, respectively, after Week 2 for Gruden’s failure to wear a mask during the game. The team was also fined an additional $50,000 for allowing a non-credentialed employee in their locker room.
The players have also been reprimanded as Darren Waller and nine others were fined after appearing at a charity event without masks. They have since been good about following protocols, but the situation could have easily been avoided.
It is unfortunate that the Silver and Black have faced such strict repercussions but hopefully they take things more seriously going forward.
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