Memo shows NFL officials recommend players on sidelines wear face covering

PITTSBURGH — There are changes on the way for NFL COVID-19 protocols.

According to a memo obtained by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the league and the players union announced the changes after a series of positive tests, including Marlon Humphrey of the Ravens and Andy Dalton of the Cowboys. There will now be a recommendation for all players who are not participating in game action to wear double-layered gaiters or masks on the sidelines. The updated protocols will also require players and team personnel to wear face coverings while in the locker room, as well as in the postgame handshakes.

The memo obtained by NFL Network states, “…wearing a mask or approved face covering may be the difference between being designated a ‘High Risk Close Contact’ or not…”

As part of the new protocols, the home team will be required to provide at least 250 disposable surgical masks on each sideline. The NFL also intends to improve the practice of social-distancing by requiring all teams to expand the bench area to the 20-yard lines, use additional benches, and eliminate the use of chairs.