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Andy Reid, Jon Gruden are the faces of the NFL’s face mask follies in 2020

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Face masks will always be synonymous with 2020 for all of us. For Andy Reid and Jon Gruden in particular, the memories won’t necessarily be fond.

Reid made waves in Week 1 when his face shield kept fogging up. Gruden has been under fire multiple times for failure to adhere to the NFL’s mask policies. Now, these two notable head coaches get to face off on national television in Week 11 when the Chiefs (8-1) travel to play the Raiders (6-3). By now, each Reid and Gruden have their normal face covering routine, but it seems like a good reason to revisit the struggles they had earlier this year.

MORE: How Andy Reid fixed his face shield so it doesn’t fog up anymore

Andy Reid’s face shield fogs up

The Chiefs played the Texans in the opening game of the 2020 NFL season on Thursday night in Week 1. Throughout the game, the camera spotted Reid, who opted for a face shield instead of a mask, barely able to see out of his transparent shield because of the way his breath was fogging it up.

Reid apparently wasn’t one to give up, though. He kept coming back with the face shield. But after the Week 1 fiasco, it wasn’t fogging up anymore. 

ESPN reported that although Reid was using the same face shield, Chiefs equipment manager Allen Wright used a product that NHL players use to avoid fogging their masks. While it wasn’t made clear the specific product, things as simple as shaving cream, shampoo and dish soap have been used to prevent fogging on goggles. 

The NFL made clear partway through the season that it expects its coaches who wear face shields to also wear some kind of mask/gaiter covering their mouth and nose, too. But Reid has continued to rock the face shield only, as has Chargers coach Anthony Lynn.

MORE: NFL’s COVID-19 rules, explained

Jon Gruden face-mask issues and fines

Gruden was first fined $100,000 in Week 2 for failure to wear his mask properly against the Saints. Broadcast cameras have captured Gruden at times throughout the season with his mask either falling down his face or just around his chin altogether, frequently when he seems to be yelling to make a point.

“I’m doing my best. You know, I’ve had the virus, okay. I’m doing my best,” Gruden said after that first fine. “I’m very sensitive about it, but I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate in these situations and I apologizes and if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine, but I’m very sensitive about all of that and I apologize.”

The Raiders were subject to more fines after players appeared mask-less at a fundraiser event. The day prior to the announcement of those fines, Gruden had again failed to consistently follow sideline protocols in a loss to the Bills.

The punishments increased on Nov. 5, when the Raiders were fined $500,000, Gruden was fined $150,000 and the team was stripped of a 2021 sixth-round pick due to violations related to offensive tackle Trent Brown’s positive test in October. That punishment came for being a “repeat offender.”





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