If you weren’t a fan of sideline reporting at NFL games, well, this could be your year.
Due to the coronavirus, the NFL has announced that there will be no sideline or pregame reporters on the field this year. So, on-field media will join the ranks of cheerleaders, mascots, national radio, anthem singers, and military/police honor guards, as being considered “nonessential” by the league.
As Yahoo reports:
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the most recent NFL-NFLPA protocols include prohibiting mascots and cheerleaders from the playing field, according to multiple reports. NFL Network first reported the news.
The updated protocols also preclude reporters and those on pregame television panels from having sideline access, a decision that could move sideline reporters to the stands.
The NFL has let teams establish their own stadium protocols — like the number of fans allowed in the stands, for example — based on local health guidelines. But it looks like there could be some league-wide standards in place as the expectations for the gameday experience during a pandemic are ironed out. As it turns out, the presence of mascots will be a part of that.
The move isn’t much of a surprise. The NFL has made it clear in their coronavirus protocols that they plan to ensure only those necessary to play the game are on the field. The league still plans on beginning their season on time. Though, several teams have recently announced they will play this season without fans in the stands.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn