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Notes: NFL issues more revised COVID protocols

Here we go again... again

Indianapolis Colts v Detroit Lions Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After the Steelers-Ravens ordeal closed on Wednesday afternoon, the league issued new COVID-19 protocols to ensure games can be played under as normal circumstances as possible. For those who missed out on the wild ride in Week 12, the Steelers and Ravens were originally scheduled to play on Thanksgiving Day but had their game postponed three times due to positive test results on both sides. The game was pushed from Thursday to Sunday, then to Tuesday, and then finally to Wednesday. As weird as a game on a Wednesday afternoon was, CBS’ Jason La Canfora was surprised such a thing had not already happened until this late in the season.

What’s more, that wasn’t even the craziest COVID storyline of the week. That award surely goes to the Broncos, who had to face the Saints with no eligible quarterbacks on their roster. Although the spread of positive cases was not limited to the quarterbacks, it was the most newsworthy because it forced practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton to take the offensive snaps at quarterback.

Thursday night, the league sent the following memo reported by Tom Pelissero to all teams with rule changes to hopefully prevent a repeat of the last couple of days. A follow-up note from Pelissero makes it pretty clear that the specific rule changes are a response by the league to specific details of the problems seen during Week 12:

The removal of the 62-player maximum on gameday attendance actually reverses an earlier policy the league had put in place for Week 12. All 32 teams were already been operating under what the NFL had called its intensive protocols since mid-November, but sometimes there are just things that are going to be tough to control as USA Today’s Jarrett Bell points out. It’s tough to know if the new restrictions will be enough, but it’s clear that business as usual will not lead to successful completion of the regular season.

Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon presents former Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s ten worst decisions. Some of the items he goes into are philosophy decisions that cover multiple moves, but among the things not making the list were the Quandre Diggs trade, cutting Travis Fulgham, or drafting any of the following players: Jarrad Davis, Will Harris, Jahlani Tavai.

  • This week’s one-on-one chat guest with Fox 2’s Dan Miller was Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. Video of the interview is available on the station’s web site.

  • For those who need something uplifting and positive, the official Lions Twitter account has you covered: