Reports: Raiders fined, stripped of 6th-round pick for virus violations
The NFL, issuing its harshest penalty to date for a violation of COVID-19 protocols, fined the Las Vegas Raiders and stripped them of a draft pick, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.
The team reportedly was docked $500,000 and a 2021 sixth-round draft pick. In addition, coach Jon Gruden reportedly was fined $150,000 for repeated violations despite prior warnings.
Per Yahoo Sports and NFL Network, the punishments stem from right tackle Trent Brown’s positive COVID-19 test late last month. ESPN added that factors in the sanctions also included Gruden regularly failing to wear a facemask, numerous Raiders players attending a large indoor charity event in September and the club allowing an unauthorized person into the locker room after a Sept. 21 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Weeks earlier, the Raiders were fined $250,000 and Gruden was fined $100,000 for his failure to wear a mask during the Saints game.
Brown originally went on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Oct. 21, prompting the club to send home its entire offensive line as it conducted contact tracing.
Brown was set to return to action last Sunday at Cleveland, but he wound up hospitalized after air entered his bloodstream during a pregame IV. He went back on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.
The Raiders also drew the NFL’s ire after quarterback Derek Carr, tight end Jason Witten and several other players attended a Sept. 28 fundraising event hosted by end Darren Waller’s foundation in Henderson, Nev. Pictures were posted online of players, without masks, circulating with event guests.
Mark Davis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the fact, “We obviously take responsibility for this. You don’t like seeing this. I don’t know that it’s actually been built into our memories that you have to wear a mask. Our organization takes it very seriously.”
The NFL fined the Titans $350,000 late last month after the Tennessee organization had 24 positive COVID-19 games. However, even though the Titans wound up having two games postponed, they weren’t docked a draft pick.
–Field Level Media