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Jon Gruden still refuses to properly wear mask amid NFL's COVID-19 crisis

Jason Owens
·2-min read

On the surface, the NFL’s COVID-19 crisis was largely relegated to the background on Sunday.

The day’s marquee matchup was certainly missed. The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots are now slated to play on Monday after players on each team tested positive for COVID-19.

Even without that matchup and the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans postponed after an outbreak among the Titans, Sunday afternoon on TV and in fantasy apps largely looked like any other Sunday.

Maskless Jon Gruden a familiar scene

Games were won and lost and storylines advanced with the most visible impact of the pandemic on the game still playing out in the stands instead of the field.

And Jon Gruden still didn’t properly wear a mask.

The Las Vegas Raiders head coach who drew six-figure fines in Week 2, and laughs and scorn in Week 3 for his mask effort was seen throughout Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills with his face covering around his chin.

Jon Gruden wears a protective face mask incorrectly with it covering his chin and not his nose and mouth.
What will it take to convince Jon Gruden to properly wear a mask? (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In case you’re wondering, the above photo is from Sunday — not from the Week 2 scene that resulted in the NFL fining Gruden $100,000 and the Raiders $250,000 after he regularly wore his mask around his chin.

The moment documented in the photo also wasn’t a one-off. It was the norm for Gruden on Sunday, as viewers at home pointed out repeatedly on Twitter.

Can Gruden be compelled to wear a mask?

To be clear, this lack of regard for COVID-19 norms arrives days after the NFL’s season was put in jeopardy after COVID-19 struck multiple teams. And days after President Donald Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 after months of flouting coronavirus safety norms.

It’s safe to say that anybody who’s not convinced by now that protocols like social distancing and wearing masks are critical in the fight against COVID-19 aren’t going to be. It seems that Gruden can be counted among that camp.

Whether the NFL can compel him to follow the protocols is yet to be seen. In light of the week the NFL just experienced, a significant league penalty would not come as a surprise.

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