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NFL to enter intense COVID protocols as cases spike around country

The NFL is taking some preemptive action as COVID cases wind down just as the season is hitting the home stretch.
Credit: AP
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) carries on a 34 yard pass play in the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The NFL is placing all teams in intensive protocol starting Saturday to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 as the number of cases rises around the country. 

Use of masks will be mandatory at all times at team facilities, including during practice and in weight rooms. Meetings must be held either virtually or in the largest indoor space with approval by the league. 

Meals have to be made available for grab-and-go to avoid players and staff congregating in cafeterias. Time spent in the locker room also has to be limited. 

Among the other protocols that are expected to be followed include:

There has been no official word as of Wednesday as to whether the New Orleans Saints have or will be fined and penalized for the viral video of players celebrating after the recent win over Tampa Bay. 

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A report on ESPN said that the Saints could expect a hefty fine and perhaps the loss of a draft pick.