American Football

NFL to require players to wear masks on sideline, threatens discipline for violators

Dec 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive back Prince Amukamara (20) runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during a game at Soldier Field. The Bears won 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL issued new guidance for its operations amid the coronavirus pandemic to require players to use face masks on the sideline unless they have their helmet on and are preparing to enter the game.

The league told teams in a memo on Monday that players who are not substituting or preparing to enter the field of play and are not wearing their helmets will be required to wear a mask or a double-layered gaiter on the sideline, starting this week.

The NFL said players who don’t follow the new mask guidelines could face discipline: “Clubs are required to enforce these rules. Violations by players and/or staff will result in accountability measures being imposed upon the Club. It is strongly recommended that each Club designate one or two individuals in the Bench Area to ensure compliance with these rules.”

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