The latest fines bring the amount of total fines of head coaches and teams for violating the mask-wearing protocol to $1.75 million.
Seattle’s Pete Carroll, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan and Denver’s Vic Fangio were fined Monday, along with the Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos.
Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, sent a memo to teams last week warning them to “remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place” while the league operates during the pandemic. The memo said that 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” and warned that disciplinary measures could be taken for noncompliance.
Coaches and other team staffers are required to wear face coverings while on the sideline during games. That is not required of players except for home games for the 49ers and Buffalo Bills, in compliance with state and local guidelines.
Following the Raiders’ triumph Monday night, Gruden revealed he had previously “had the virus” and said he was “doing my best” with the mask-wearing protocol.
“I’m very sensitive about it, but I’m calling plays,” Gruden said. “I just want to communicate in these situations. I apologize, and if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine.”
Gruden clarified to a Bay Area reporter that he had tested positive for the virus in mid-July. He declined to provide many further details when asked about it Tuesday by reporters, saying the experience “wasn’t pleasant.”
Gruden also said, according to ESPN: “It was reported that I made up that I had the virus, and it really ticked me off because I would never do something like that. But it’s a very serious matter and, you know, obviously, I’m sensitive about it. But, yeah, it was a tough ordeal, that’s for sure. Just like everybody else that’s had it.”
Payton said in March that he had tested positive.
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