Saints, Patriots fined by NFL for violating COVID-19 protocols

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British woman Esther Dingley takes a selfie before being reported as missing, in Pico Tuca Salbaguardia

(Reuters) - The National Football League fined the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots for violating COVID-19 protocols, a league source said on Sunday.

The Saints, who are repeat offenders, were fined $500,000 for not wearing protective masks during a post-game celebration, the source told Reuters.

According to the NFL's website, the Saints were also docked a seventh-round draft pick.

The source added that the Patriots were fined $350,000 stemming from mask protocol violations at the team facility in early October.

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused several disruptions to the NFL's 2020 season schedule, most recently this week when the Baltimore Ravens had their game with the Pittsburgh Steelers rescheduled twice because of an outbreak within the team.

Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos are starting a practice squad wide receiver at quarterback later on Sunday against the Saints as all four quarterbacks on their roster are unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)