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Jersey swaps between players banned as part of NFL’s coronavirus protocols

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson, left, and Denver Broncos linebacker Josh Watson pose after swapping jerseys.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson, left, and Denver Broncos linebacker Josh Watson pose after swapping jerseys last November. Players won’t be allowed within six feet of one another following games in 2020.
(Bruce Kluckhohn / Associated Press)

NFL players will be prohibited from postgame interactions within six feet of one another, which means they won’t be allowed to exchange jerseys after games under the league’s guidelines to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The restrictions are outlined in the game-day protocols finalized by the league and NFL Players Assn. on Wednesday. The 11-page document sent to each club and obtained by the Associated Press includes several changes for the upcoming season:

  • Players and coaches are not required to wear face coverings, but everyone else on the sideline is.
  • Everyone with access to the bench area is prohibited from sharing any personal items, including cups, food, towels and clothing.
  • Anyone who records a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees on game day will not be permitted to enter the stadium.

The Patriots’ Julian Edelman invited the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson to visit the Holocaust Museum with him after Jackson published an anti-Semitic post.

  • Inactive players must either be in the designated bench area or must remain in the locker room, an empty suite or some other designated isolated location in the stadium during pregame and throughout the game to avoid interactions with any non-team personnel.
  • On-field fan seating is prohibited.
  • Cheerleaders, mascots, flag runners and other entertainers must be approved by the NFL in advance and, if approved, must meet physical distancing and screening and testing requirements.
  • Media is banned from the locker room.

The league and the players union have not yet agreed on testing and screening protocols.


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