Raiders fined $500K, docked 6th-round pick for repeated COVID violations

Jesse Pantuosco
November 05, 2020 - 8:05 pm

No team has been as brazen in its mismanagement of the coronavirus than the Las Vegas Raiders, who the NFL has identified as “repeat offenders” for continually flouting the league’s COVID protocols. Thursday it was time for Vegas to pay the piper with the NFL levying its biggest COVID punishments to date, fining the Raiders $500,000 and docking them their sixth-round pick in next year’s draft, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. Coach Jon Gruden, who was assessed a steep $100,000 fine earlier this year for not wearing his mask correctly on the Raiders’ sideline, took an even bigger hit to his wallet this time, forking over an additional $150,000 for eschewing safety measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID.

The Raiders have been scrutinized, seemingly since the season began, for their reckless choices in the wake of a global pandemic with multiple players (Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller and franchise quarterback Derek Carr among them) fined for not masking up at a team charity event in Las Vegas. The NFL has made an example out of the Raiders, fining them four times for various safety infractions with penalties totaling an eye-popping $1.2 million.

The latest discipline stems from the team’s handling of Trent Brown, who was hospitalized due to COVID complications earlier this week. As previously reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, many had suspected Brown (who was moved to the Raiders’ COVID list for the second time on Thursday) was lax in wearing his mandatory tracking device, which complicated the team’s contact-tracing efforts after he tested positive for the virus.

The 380-pound Brown was discharged from the hospital Monday following a scare in Sunday’s victory over Cleveland. Brown was wheeled out of the locker room and taken to an area hospital after an IV mishap caused air to enter his bloodstream. Needless to say, Brown’s odds of suiting up against the Chargers in Week 9 are slim, bordering on non-existent.

Maybe the loss of a draft pick (albeit a late-rounder) and Brown’s recent setback will finally knock some sense into the Raiders, who have—at least relative to the rest of the league—struggled to grasp the severity of this deadly virus.

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