BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick had not one, but two masks on during Monday night’s Patriots loss to the Chiefs. That was probably a wise move given the COVID-19 situation that New England is currently navigating through, with starting quarterback Cam Newton testing positive for the virus over the weekend.
But as the head coach explained on Tuesday, Monday night’s double mask move has nothing to do with his concerns over COVID-19.
“Basically, that’s what we’ve been instructed to do,” Belichick told reporters on a video conference call Tuesday afternoon.
Belichick wearing two masks tonight 😷 pic.twitter.com/BdnV4PskJf
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 5, 2020
The head coach’s latest fashion statement doesn’t have to do with his age (68) putting him in a high-risk category or the fact that Newton tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. He’s simply following the NFL’s rules, which the league explained to all 32 teams in a conference call on Monday afternoon.
The NFL is starting to take the COVID matter extremely seriously, after the Tennessee Titans experienced an outbreak in their locker room and the league had to postpone their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots themselves saw their game against Kansas City move from Sunday to Monday after Newton’s positive test on Saturday morning.
The NFL is now threatening some hefty sanctions to teams that don’t follow the league’s protocols, which could include forfeiting games. With the NFL reportedly already launching an investigation to see if the Patriots followed all protocols leading up to Newton’s positive test, Belichick isn’t going to take any risks when it comes to league punishments. Hence the two masks on Monday.
Or, the coach went above and beyond Monday night as a way of mocking the NFL, as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio pontificated on Tuesday. You decide.