Black and Blue Kickoff Live: Panthers could face hefty fines for gathering that reportedly led to COVID outbreak

NFL

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- The Carolina Panthers could face fines for a reported gathering during the bye week that possibly led to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the team.

According to Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer, the Panthers outbreak was linked back to some of the players gathering outside the team facility, The Athletic reports.

This is something that could lead to hefty fines for the team.

The New England Patriots were fined $350,000 for violations back in October when Cam Newton and others tested positive. The Saints were also fined $500,000 and lost a 7th round draft pick following a maskless locker room celebration in Week 9.

That wasn’t the Saints’ only offense that cost them. They, along with the Raiders, were fined $250,000 each for mask protocol violations.

Head coach Matt Rhule spoke on Wednesday, on what his message to his players about making sure they stick to the COVID guidelines.

“This is a reminder that this isn’t even about being competitive, like ‘hey I want to have everyone ready to win,’ this is about ‘I want you to be safe,’” Rhule said.

Rhule says he and the coaching staff are taking the NFL’s rules seriously to protect players, their families and themselves.

“It’s a reminder that we have guys with pregnant wives on this team, so just kind of a go back through all the procedures, the protocols, the responsibility, and at the same time making sure they know that we’re here,” Rhule said.

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