NFL punishes Saints, Patriots over COVID-19 violations

NFL punishes Saints, Patriots over COVID-19 violations

The Saints and Patriots are the latest teams to face disciplinary measures from the NFL for violations of the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

New Orleans has been fined $500,000 and stripped of a seventh-round draft pick after their maskless locker room celebration following a win in Week 9, according to NFL Network.

It isn’t the first time the Saints have been in hot water with the league for COVID-19 infractions, which could have contributed to the harsher punishment. New Orleans was fined $250,000 and head coach Sean Payton was fined $100,000 for not following face-covering protocols during Week 2 against the Raiders.

Nor is it the first time a team has lost a draft pick due to COVID-19 violations. The Raiders were handed a similar punishment this month of $500,000 and loss of a sixth-round pick for actions stemming from offensive tackle Trent Brown’s positive test in October. Head coach Jon Gruden was fined an additional $150,000 after he was previously fined $100,000 for not wearing a face-covering properly on the sidelines in the New Orleans game.

The Patriots were fined $350,00 for “protocol violations stemming from issues in October when Cam Newton and others tested positive,” NFL Network reported Sunday.

Newton’s positive test was the catalyst for their Week 4 matchup against the Chiefs to be postponed.