The N.F.L. has fined the Las Vegas Raiders $500,000 and their head coach, Jon Gruden, an additional $150,000 and has taken away a late-round draft pick next year because of repeated violations of the league’s coronavirus protocols, according to a league employee who was not authorized to discuss the penalties publicly.
The team, which had already been fined for violations earlier in the season, is likely to appeal the latest penalties, the employee said.
Thursday’s fines and the loss of a draft pick were by far the strongest punishment yet against an N.F.L. team, as the league has tried to push through a season while the coronavirus continues to rage in many areas of the country.
The N.F.L. has increased the restrictions on where and how players, coaches and staff members can move around in and outside team facilities, and it warned teams last month that violations would result in increasingly stiffer penalties, including the loss of draft picks and potentially the forfeiting of games.
The Tennessee Titans have had the worst outbreak in the league, with at least two dozen players, coaches and staff members testing positive in a period that forced the postponement of two games and required a half-dozen other teams to juggle their schedules. The league fined the Titans $350,000 for their handling of the outbreak. But it did not take away any draft picks.
Last month, Gruden was fined $100,000 and the team was fined $250,000 because the coach had not worn his face covering properly on the sideline during a game. The team was also fined $50,000 for allowing an unauthorized visitor in the locker room.
Individual players were fined after 10 Raiders, including the team’s star quarterback, Derek Carr, attended a charity event in a crowded indoor venue without wearing masks.
Raiders offensive lineman Trent Brown was put back on the reserve/Covid-19 list for a second time on Thursday because of ongoing complications related to the coronavirus. He was first placed on the list Oct. 21 after he tested positive. The Raiders then sent home the rest of their starting offensive linemen because they had been in contract with Brown.
Yahoo first reported news of the Raiders’ latest penalties.