New Orleans Saints will receive hefty fines for COVID-19 protocol violations during the season, per a report by NFL Insiders Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport. The Week 17 infraction will be the club's "third offense."
The previous two COVID-19 violations were against head coach Sean Payton and the team's maskless locker room celebration after defeating the Buccaneers in 38-3 in Week 9. The dancing and revelry were recorded and posted on social media by several Saints players.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara had an interaction at the Saints facility "with a person not employed by the club who turned out to be positive" for COVID-19. The NFL reviewed the team's surveillance video, which captured Kamara's contact with the unnamed person.
Kamara's encounter, positive COVID-19 test result, and close contact caused the entire New Orleans Saints running back corps (Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Michael Burton, and Dwayne Washington) and position coach Joel Thomas to miss the season finale against the Carolina Panthers in Week 17.
Athletic's Saints reporter, Jeff Duncan, reported the major issue the NFL had with the Saints was Alvin Kamara's refusal to wear the contact tracing device.
The NFL has not quantified the fines for New Orleans. The Saints can resolve the violations if they issue "fines internally for violators - it may end up including multiple and/or higher draft picks and an even larger fine," said Pelissero and Rapoport.