Saints, Patriots fined for breaching NFL COVID-safety protocols: reports

Saints, Patriots fined for breaching NFL COVID-safety protocols: reports

The NFL reportedly handed out hefty fines to the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots this week after both teams violated the league’s COVID-19 safety protocols. 

The Saints were fined $ 500,000 and docked a 2021 seventh-round draft pick over an incident where head coach Sean Payton and several players were caught on video celebrating in the locker room after a blowout win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, according to multiple reports. 

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Videos, posted by the players to their social media accounts, showed Payton dancing in the locker room. No one was wearing masks — a violation of league rules. 

The Saints will reportedly appeal the decision but this isn’t their first mishap. 

Payton was previously fined $ 100,000 for failing to wear a mask on the sideline during Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders. The team was also fined $ 250,000 as a result. 

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The Patriots have also been fined $ 350,000 for violations back in October when Cam Newton and several other players tested positive, the NFL Network reported. 

The league’s move to discipline both teams comes as the Baltimore Ravens battle an outbreak that forced their primetime Thanksgiving Day game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to be postponed until Tuesday.  

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The Ravens currently have 20 players on the COVID-19 list, 11 that have tested positive. 

The Denver Broncos faced their own troubles after all four of their quarterbacks were deemed ineligible for Sunday’s game against the Saints. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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