Source: Gruden, Payton fined for mask negligence

  • Covered Oakland Raiders for CSNBayArea.com and Sacramento Bee for eight years
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  • Previously worked at Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sports Illustrated

Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton have both been fined $100,000 by the NFL for not wearing masks on the sideline during Monday night’s game, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Raiders and Saints also have each been fined $250,000, the source said.

The fines are the same that the NFL levied Monday against the Denver Broncos and Vic Fangio, the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll and the San Francisco 49ers and Kyle Shanahan for similar violations this past Sunday of the league’s COVID-19 game-day protocols.

“I had a coach who was reminding me about it throughout the game, [running backs coach] Chad Morton was on my ass the whole night. He was reminding me the whole time,” Carroll told the Seahawks’ website on Tuesday. “I even changed masks at halftime to find one that worked better. Sometimes you’ve got to get coached up. Sometimes you have to admit that that you screwed up and have got to do better.

“We wear masks all day at practice, we wear them around the building,” Carroll said. “I know it’s extremely important to wear masks. Sometimes you’ve just got to be reminded.”

Gruden, who revealed after Monday night’s victory over the Saints that he had previously contracted COVID-19, said Tuesday that he did not want to get into specifics about how he dealt with the virus.

“It wasn’t pleasant,” he said, “and it was reported that I made up that I had the virus and it really ticked me off because I would never do something like that.

“But it’s a very serious matter and, you know, obviously, I’m sensitive about it. But yeah, it was a tough ordeal, that’s for sure. Just like everybody else that had it.”

Payton also battled COVID-19 over the summer.

Gruden was asked after Monday night’s game about being mask-less on the sideline.

“I’m doing my best,” he said at the time. “I’ve had the virus. I’m doing my best. I’m very sensitive about it. … I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate in these situations, and if I get fined, I’ll have to pay the fine. But I’m very sensitive about that and I apologize.”

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