NFL Bans Player Jersey Swaps in 2020 Game-Day Protocol

Published July 10th, 2020 - 06:57 GMT
NFL players like Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (R) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (L) must remain six feet apart and will not be allowed to trade jerseys after games during the 2020 season. (Photo: Derik Hamilton/UPI)
NFL players like Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (R) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (L) must remain six feet apart and will not be allowed to trade jerseys after games during the 2020 season. (Photo: Derik Hamilton/UPI)

Players will not be allowed to trade jerseys after NFL games as part of the league's game-day protocol for the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NFL and players' union's joint medical committee worked together to develop the protocol, which was sent to teams Wednesday. Players will be forbidden from interactions within six feet of each other after games. No media members will be allowed in locker rooms and on-field seating will be prohibited as part of the new safety guidelines.

The 2020 NFL regular season remains on schedule, but the players' union has recommended for the league to cancel preseason games due to the pandemic. NFL team facilities remain closed for players who do not need medical treatment. Teams plan to report to training camp with full rosters on July 28.

The new protocol will take effect for the preseason and regular season. Coaches and players who aren't likely to appear in those games are "strongly encouraged" -- but not required -- to wear masks on the sidelines. Players and coaches must agree to multiple temperature checks before games and will not be allowed to participate if they have a fever of more than 100.4 degrees.

Lockers must be reconfigured to permit six feet of space between each player "where possible" in locker rooms. Players also will be required to spend the night in a team hotel the night before games, even if the games are played at their home stadiums.

Several NFL players spoke out against the protocol on social media.

"This is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell," San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted. "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."

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson called the protocol "silly," while Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb said it was a "joke."

"They [are] just making stuff up now," Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Trai Turner tweeted. "Let's address the real issues. Time is ticking."


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