The New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots have been ordered to pay major fines for violating the NFL's Covid-19 protocols, the official NFL website said Sunday.
The Patriots were fined $350,000 after quarterback Cam Newton's Covid-19 diagnosis led the league to push back a Week 4 game between the Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs, NFL.com reported.
Newton tested positive for the coronavirus in early October. "I never will question God's reasoning, just will always respond with 'YES LORD!!'" he said at the time of his diagnosis.
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The Saints face a steeper fine of $500,000 for a "maskless locker room celebration" that followed their Week 9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to the league's site. The team, which was reported to also have held a maskless meeting, was also docked a seventh-round draft pick.
The Saints posted videos of the celebration on social media, which clued the league in to the policy violations.
The NFL previously issued a $100,000 fine to New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and a $250,000 fine to the team in September after Payton, who announced in March that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, did not wear a mask on the sidelines during a game.
The Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos are also reported to be under investigation for Covid-19 policy violations.
More than 20 members of the Ravens are on the Reserve/Covid-19 list after a team outbreak — including MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson — and the team released a statement Wednesday saying it had disciplined a staff member for conduct surrounding the recent outbreak.
Spikes in case numbers both within the NFL and nationally prompted the league to close all facilities Monday and Tuesday to curb the spread.