NFL says fans attending games will be required to wear face coverings


Volunteer Kim Thouren of Denver wears a face mask while helping to distribute boxes of food at a large mobile pantry set up by the Food Bank of the Rockies in the parking lot of Empower Field at Mile High early Friday, June 26, 2020, in west Denver. Food Bank officials worked with staff members of the NFL’s Denver Broncos to hand out food to more than 3,000 people at the drive-up center in the south parking lot of the stadium. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The National Football League confirmed on Wednesday all fans attending games during the 2020 season will be required to wear face coverings.

Several teams already informed season ticket holders that masks will be required. The announcement on Wednesday is confirmation that the face-covering mandate will be league-wide.

Also on Wednesday, the NFL Players Association has agreed to the league’s plan to drop all preseason games for the 2020 season.

The union also agreed to a 80-player roster limit for training camp instead of the usual 90.

According to reports, union leadership told players about the preseason agreement during a conference call on Tuesday.

The players’ association originally had sought no preseason games and the league had reduced the exhibition schedule to two games. But on Monday evening, the NFL said it would eliminate those preseason contests and also would offer players 18 days for acclimation, up from seven days.

On Monday, the league said players will be tested daily for the coronavirus for at least the first two weeks of training camp, per the league’s new testing protocols.

Rookies have started reporting this week, and all players are expected to report next week.

The league and the NFLPA already finalized protocols regarding team travel, media and treatment response, and updated the facilities protocol to specifically address training camp based on recommendations from a joint committee of doctors, trainers and strength coaches formed by the league and players’ union.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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