ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Much to the chagrin of Vic Fangio and his coaching staff, the NFL is taking its sideline mask rule seriously.
Fangio was fined $100,000 by the NFL and the Broncos’ organization was fined $250,000 for various sideline personnel and coaching assistants not wearing masks during the team’s game Sunday at Pittsburgh, a source told 9NEWS on Monday evening.
The coach and team were informed of the fines early Monday afternoon.
It’s the largest league-imposed fine against the Broncos’ organization since they were docked $950,000 for their salary cap misappropriations from 1996-98.
Even when the league caught the Broncos illicitly taping a 49ers walkthrough prior to a 2010 game in London, head coach Josh McDaniels and the organization were only fined $50,000 each.
Make no mistake, the NFL is serious about both the health and safety of its players and setting an example for the country about the importance of wearing a mask during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A source told 9NEWS that Broncos leadership — which had been at the forefront of implementing virus safeguards and restrictions at its training facilities and Empower Field at Mile High — had reminded its coaches and football support staff to take the mask mandate seriously because the league was closely monitoring sideline personnel in week 2.
Fangio at times properly wore his mask over his mouth and nose during the game against the Steelers, especially when the Broncos were on offense. But he pulled the covering below his chin when he was calling plays for the defense.
The league had sent a memo to teams and coaches after Week 1 stating it would start enforcing its mask rule for all sideline personnel, including coaches, going forward.