New England Patriots

Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; A New England Patriots helmet rest on the sidelines during the first quarter of the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

The NFL has fined the Patriots for breaking the league’s COVID protocol, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Sunday morning. According to Rapoport, it is tied to “issues in October when Cam Newton & others tested positive.”

Rapoport says the fine will cost the Patriots $350 thousand. It is likely a result of a league investigation into the team following their COVID-19 outbreak early in the season.

However, the Patriots weren’t the only team punished for breaking protocols, nor were they the most heavily punished. The New Orleans Saints were fined $500 thousand and will forfeit a seventh-round pick for a mask-less locker room celebration earlier in the year.

This isn’t the first time the NFL has come down hard on teams for being loose with the COVID protocols. The Raiders, Steelers, and Titans were also hit with punishments earlier in the year. Las Vegas has had the heaviest toll overall – the organization was fined $500 thousand, head coach Jon Gruden was fined $150 thousand, and the franchise was stripped of a sixth-round pick.

With COVID cases increasing across the country and throughout the NFL, expect the league to really crack down. With the season almost over and almost no flexibility left to reschedule games, they need to stay diligent to get the playoffs played on time.

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Patriots.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.