All NFL games are on for this weekend while teams deal with COVID-19 issues.
Depending on their situations, teams were either steering clear of or returning to their facilities Friday, one day after the Packers beat the 49ers even though both clubs were missing key players due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cincinnati Bengals kept players away from their training facility after two unidentified players tested positive for COVID-19. Players have not been in the facility since Wednesday and will not return until next week because they are on a bye, though players had to remain in Cincinnati to be tested for the coronavirus daily.
The Atlanta Falcons canceled practice and worked virtually after a member of the football staff tested positive. The Falcons said the move was “out of an abundance of caution” while contact tracing is used to determine if anyone else might have been exposed.
Atlanta hosts Denver on Sunday.
“The whole reason we’re doing it is to get guys to the game,” coach Raheem Morris said. “We want to make sure we go through all the precautionary measures to play the game. Everybody wants to play the game. ”
A Miami Dolphins assistant coach, also unidentified, tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantined. It was the first coronavirus case involving the Dolphins since Aug. 19, but their regular-season schedule was changed because of outbreaks involving other teams.
They’re scheduled to play Sunday at Arizona.
The Chicago Bears activated starting right guard Germain Ifedi from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday. Ifedi was placed on the list along with backup offensive tackle Jason Spriggs on Tuesday. Coach Matt Nagy said this week that Spriggs tested positive for the coronavirus and Ifedi was put on the list because of a close contact.
The Bears canceled practice and closed their facility Thursday after another player tested positive. The team was cleared that night by the NFL to practice Friday.
Chicago plays at Tennessee on Sunday.
The Houston Texans returned to their facility a day after it was closed following a positive COVID-19 test by a player. Linebacker Jacob Martin’s positive test on Wednesday night forced the closure of the facility Thursday. Linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Dylan Cole will also miss Sunday’s game at Jacksonville after the NFL determined they had been in close contact with Martin.
The league has been busy handing out discipline to teams violating COVID-19 protocols.
On Friday, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 and the club $250,000 because coaches improperly wore facial coverings last Sunday, a person with knowledge of the fines told The Associated Press.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the fines have not been announced, said Tomlin was among the coaches cited for “not wearing face coverings at all times on the sidelines” during the victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The NFL recently told its 32 teams to have all personnel wear masks in lockers rooms and on the sideline when not in the game. Players are required to wear masks during postgame contacts with opponents as well.
Coach Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders this week were fined a total of $650,000 and lost a sixth-round draft pick for repeated violations of the protocols. A person familiar with the punishment said Thursday the team was fined $500,000, Gruden docked $150,000, and the draft pick stripped because of how the team handled Trent Brown’s positive coronavirus test last month. The team is expected to appeal.
The Raiders have been penalized several times this season for violating coronavirus protocols, with the punishments leading to a total of more than $1.2 million for the team, Gruden and players. They are the first to be penalized a draft pick following multiple violations.