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Sports News

NFL requiring increased use of masks, extended bench areas

The NFL and NFL Players Association want players and team personnel to take additional steps in their COVID-19 prevention protocols to stem an uptick in positive test results and to keep everyone as safe as possible.

FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A memo issued Tuesday makes a number of recommendations and requirements.

Among the recommendations: asking anyone on the sideline who isn’t taking part in the game to wear a mask or a gaiter with two layers.

Among the requirements: face coverings must be worn by all personnel in the locker room on game day, whether before or after the game or during halftime.

The memo also strongly recommends against any postgame interaction but says that if it occurs, all participants are required to have their faces covered.

Additionally, clubs will be required to extend the sideline bench area from one 20-yard-line to the other, providing more room for social distancing.

The heightened rules come after two players who took part in games on Sunday (Marlon Humphrey of the Baltimore Ravens and AJ Dillon of the Green Bay Packers) tested positive. The memo said that one of the players - reportedly Humphrey - had several multiple close contacts who will be required to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

But that could have been avoided, according to the memo.

“Wearing a mask or approved face covering may be the difference between being designated a ‘High Risk Close Contact’ or not,” it reads.

--Field Level Media

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