Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, coaches and players won’t be required to wear masks on the sidelines. Everyone else on the bench does have to wear a mask. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted the NFL will not only forbid postgame interactions and players swapping jerseys, but there are a few other notable changes. On-field fan seating is prohibited. Both teams must travel to the stadium via bus. The media will also be banned from the locker room. Locker room access was great and allowed insight, interactions, and conversations that are impossible to have anywhere else. Also, the postgame dancing:
More importantly, the pre-practice games. Last year I saw C.J. Beathard beat Deebo Samuel and D.J. Jones in “HORSE” when the three were playing basketball.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has some feelings about Pelissero’s tweet, and he’s not wrong. Just ignore the four quarters being played before the game:
This is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell. Players can go engage in a full contact game and do it safely. However, it is deemed unsafe for them to exchange jerseys after said game. https://t.co/fWefsUSVDc— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 9, 2020
Allowing a sixty-minute full contract game but then taking “precautions” because you ban handshakes and jersey swaps afterward is like eating a dessert tray but having a salad too so you can tell people you’re maintaining a healthy diet. It doesn’t make sense, no matter how you slice it. Is this because the NFL can’t profit off these postgame interactions? It sure seems like it.
Pelissero said these protocols go into effect for the 2020 preseason and are subject to change as the science and data evolve.