New NFL protocols announced

Charles McDonald New York Daily News (TNS)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, left, and New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder exchange jerseys after a game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on November 10, 2019.

The NFL and NFLPA rolled out rule changes to make sure the 2020 season can be played as safely as possible, even though it's not really possible to safely play football right now.

The NFL will no longer allow players to exchange jerseys after games and all postgame interactions must be at least six feet apart, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson aptly called the rule changes "DAMN SILLY" on his Twitter account and asked, "Then explain to me why are they allowing us to play at all?"

The NFL will also not require coaches and players standing on the sideline of games to wear masks, but will "strongly encourage" that they do. And the players sitting on the bench will have to mask up.

Players and coaches are also prohibited from sharing personal items, including "cups, food, towels, and clothing" according to a document released by the NFL and NFLPA.

Anyone who has access to a bench will have their temperature checked and will be screened for symptoms. Anyone who has been exposed or has a fever over 100.4 degrees will not be allowed inside stadiums on game day.

Pelissero also reported that on-field fan seating will be eliminated for the 2020 season and both teams must travel to stadiums via buses. Media members will not have access to locker rooms this season.

Assuming there is a preseason, these changes will go into effect for the two preseason games that are on the calendar. The Hall of Fame game between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers has already been canceled and the first and last weeks of the preseason were canceled as well. For now, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to two preseason games, but that can change if coronavirus continues to spiral out of control.