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NFL fines Baltimore Ravens over COVID-19 protocol violations: report

NFL fines Baltimore Ravens over COVID-19 protocol violations: report
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The NFL has fined the Baltimore Ravens $250,000 for violating coronavirus protocols, The Associated Press reported Monday, citing a person with direct knowledge.

The team’s recent COVID-19 outbreak has led to 23 players placed on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list, along with the infection of multiple coaches and other team employees, according to the AP.

The outbreak has also forced games to be postponed and rescheduled. A game against the Pittsburgh Steelers initially planned for Thanksgiving was delayed to the following week, while a Dec. 8 matchup against  Dallas Cowboys also had to rescheduled.

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But unlike some teams that have violated COVID-19 protocols, the Ravens were not penalized with the loss of any draft picks. The Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints were both hit with a loss of draft picks, in addition to $500,000 fines.

The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans were both fined $350,000 but did not lose any draft picks for their coronavirus violations.

The Hill has reached out to the Ravens for comment.

Multiple sources told the Baltimore Sun earlier this month that Steve Saunders, the team’s head strength and conditioning coach, did not regularly wear a mandatory mask or proximity tracker, nor had he reported his possible symptoms of the virus.

“Throughout the season, the NFL has updated the protocol to reflect new knowledge about the coronavirus and its spread. We believe in the protocol and made every effort to adhere to it,” Ravens President Dick Cass said in a statement earlier this month. “We strive not only to ‘play like a Raven’ but also to ‘comply like a Raven.’ "

No players are currently on the team’s COVID-19 list, following the activation last week of the last player connected to the outbreak, rookie safety Geno Stone. The Ravens are in second place in the AFC North division, with a 10-5 record.