Why KC Chiefs coach Andy Reid, QB Patrick Mahomes were wearing masks in team facility

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

As Chiefs coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes walked into the media room Wednesday for their weekly news conferences, they each brought with them an extra item.

A protective mask.

An atypical step for a news conference this season, Reid wore a black mask similar to the one he donned often in 2020, before he had received the COVID-19 vaccination. Mahomes did, too.

But it’s not a sign of any outbreak inside the Chiefs facility — rather, it’s following new NFL protocols.

While the league has permitted vaccinated players to ditch their masks inside team facilities this season, they increased some safety measures following Thanksgiving. And they’ll likely do the same following Christmas.

As part of those temporary measures, coaches and players are required to wear masks for the initial three days this week — Monday through Wednesday. They can remove them when they are outdoors for practice.

The vaccinated players were also required to be tested both Monday and Wednesday. In a typical week, they are only tested once.

“The league is taking precautionary measures,” Reid said. “Our guys have done a pretty good job with it so far — they’ve done good with the masks.”

According to a memo sent to all 32 teams obtained by the NFL Network, the league warned that violating the temporary protocols could result in discipline. The memo also informed teams it would be monitoring surveillance footage of areas such as the weight rooms and cafeterias.

The increased measures just so happen to fall after the Chiefs bye, when coaches encouraged players to be careful as they returned home to visit family.

“They warned us (to) just be careful who we’re around. Just be aware of the situation because COVID is not completely away,” Chiefs rookie Trey Smith said. “That piece, coaches are reminding you. We have really good protocols — obviously I’m wearing a mask right now. But just be safe and be cautious.”

Two Chiefs players have landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list this season. Safety Tyrann Mathieu, who is vaccinated, tested positive for the virus and remained on the list for the first 11 days of September. While he was eligible to return for Week 1, he missed the opener, citing caution as he tried to rebuild stamina. And wide receiver Marcus Kemp missed the team’s last game against the Cowboys while on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Kemp has since been removed from the list.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting