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Jon Gruden tests the league’s patience on mask wearing, again

The Football Night in America crew discusses the recent rash of positive COVID-19 tests across the league and whether the NFL can contain a larger outbreak to avoid a pause in the season.

After Week One, the NFL made it clear that coaches who fail to properly and consistently wear face coverings during games would be subject to potential “accountability measures.” After Week Two, Raiders coach Jon Gruden and four other coaches each received $100,000 fines, with their teams separately fined $250,000 each.

After Week Three, the league reiterated the requirement that coaches and other sideline personnel must wear mask coverings at all times. This time, the league specifically mentioned suspensions and/or lost draft picks as the potential “or else.” In Week Four, Gruden has once again invited an “or else” moment.

Gruden failed to consistently pull his mask up over his chin (whatever it was that he wore last week looked more like a loincloth), and now the question becomes whether the NFL will do anything about it.

Frankly, Gruden should be concerned. Given the issues that have emerged over the past week, it’s even more important that everyone comply with the protocols. Throw in the fact that a group of Gruden’s players (including starting quarterback Derek Carr) committed a cartoonish breach of off-duty restrictions last Monday (which is a reflection on Gruden’s messaging to his players), and it’s possible that the NFL will make the kind of example out of Gruden that will scare everyone else in the league straight.