NFL Refs Now Allowed To Flag Teams For Face Covering Violations

Imagine your team losing a game over a 15-yard face-covering penalty. It could happen as soon as this week in the NFL after clubs were informed Friday that “any individual who approaches an official without a face covering is subject to a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, as well as possible fines, suspensions and forfeiture of draft picks,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.

The memo that’s circulating around NFL media says “if an individual not wearing a face covering approaches [game officials] inappropriately, they have the authority to take administrative or officiating action.”

It’s not being called the Bill Belichick rule, but he had the most notorious mask drop in recent memory during Monday’s game against the Chiefs. The NFL has already fined Jon Gruden, Vic Fangio and at least three other coaches over mask violations. Now they’re adding the 15-yard penalty to the toolbox, and there’s a very good chance this gets their attention.


Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.


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  1. Will the refs have a different color flag for the covid penalties…so we all don’t get confused listening to the booth announcers call these penalties when we thought it was a good catch.
    Not askin’ for a friend…but I did hear two ladies talking about it at the 7-Eleven.

  2. I don’t know where to start with this. I’ve been dipping my toes into football via no sound. I think THIS is too much for me. Everything has gotten so unfucken fun.

  3. Did this go through the rules committee? Normally they can only establish new rules after a season is over. Also, when I scan the list of committee members they don’t strike me as those who’d push this kind of rule change. I think we have an “end around” here by some other avenue that’s not according to procedure. Can outkick investigate this a bit further? It reeks of politics.
    Rich McKay (chairman)
    John Mara
    Stephen Jones
    Mark Murphy
    Ozzie Newsome
    Mike Tomlin
    John Elway
    Sean Payton
    Ron Rivera

  4. The new NFL is the NBA. It will never go back the other way. The rule changes bother me almost as much as they woke politics. Can’t play defense. Safety 101. Helmet to helmet on a linebacker? So, this doesn’t surprise.
    Safetyism to a new level. Liberalism to a new level. Unwatchable. The NFL is no different than the white 25 year old ‘male’ liberal with green hair and a blm shirt.
    He played flag football in middle school too.

    • Sadly, you’re probably right Anthony. I watched an NFL game from the 90’s awhile back. The hits on the quarterbacks alone (with no flags) were astounding. The safety evolution has changed the game and the woke infection will probably destroy it.

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