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NFL expands bench area, requires players to put masks on after games

As more positive COVID tests appear around the NFL, the league is reportedly considering expanding the playoffs again just for this year to help accommodate for any major scheduling changes.

The NFL is stepping up its attempts to keep players apart during and after games.

NFL Chief Football Administrative Officer Dawn Aponte announced today that the league is expanding the bench area during games and requiring masks after games in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The bench area, where players and coaches have long been required to stay between the 30-yard lines, will be expanded so that players and coaches can be anywhere between the 20-yard lines. The league will also add benches where that’s feasible, but will not provide more chairs, as players tend to crowd more closely together in clusters when chairs are available.

The NFL is also requiring players and staffers to have masks on after games. Although that had already been encouraged, now players are being told that putting masks on before post-game handshakes or other activities on the field is a requirement.