The Morning Call

New man­date won’t af­fect Birds

- By Nick Fierro Morn­ing Call re­porter Nick Fierro can be reached at 610-778-2243 or nfierro@mcall.com. Sports · NFL Football · American Football · Pennsylvania · Philadelphia Eagles · Philadelphia · Pittsburgh Steelers · Pittsburgh · S.L. Benfica · Seattle Seahawks · Seattle · Nathan John Feurstein

New COVID-19 reg­u­la­tions en­acted by the state of Penn­syl­va­nia this week had some peo­ple be­liev­ing the Philadel­phia Ea­gles, Pitts­burgh Steel­ers and all other ath­letes work­ing within this state would have to wear masks even while com­pet­ing.

The man­date seemed to go above and be­yond the NF L’ s in­ten­sive COVID-19 pro­to­col, which is due to go into ef­fect on Satur­day and re­main for the rest of the sea­son.

But a spokesper­son from Gov.

Tom Wolf’s of­fice con­firmed on Fri­day that play­ers fall un­der one of the ex­cep­tions that al­lows for re­moval of masks if they con­sti­tute health threats.

“Wear­ing a mask in ad­di­tion to a mouth guard and a hel­met would likely cre­ate a med­i­cal is­sue for the ath­lete, whether the ath­lete is a pro­fes­sional or youth player, even if a pre­vi­ous med­i­cal is­sue was not present,” Lyn­d­say Kensinger wrote in a state­ment. “For ex­am­ple, the CDC says that ‘wear­ing a mask with these types of pro­tec­tive equip­ment is not safe if it makes it hard to breathe.’

“There are other sports where there are sim­i­lar con­cerns that a mask would cre­ate a med­i­cal is­sue where one would oth­er­wise not ex­ist in an ath­lete. For ex­am­ple, it should also be ob­vi­ous that wear­ing a mask while swim­ming presents an im­mi­nent health is­sue.

“Ac­cord­ing to Sec­tion 3, the ath­lete would be asked to work through al­ter­na­tives that would re­duce or elim­i­nate the res­pi­ra­tory droplets that would im­pact oth­ers in prox­im­ity. If the sport, equip­ment, or ex­er­tion level does not al­low for face cov­er­ing to be worn safely, then the ath­lete should not wear a face cov­er­ing.”

Coach Doug Ped­er­son said the team was aware of the new reg­u­la­tions but didn’t feel they would pose a prob­lem.

“It’s some­thing we’re go­ing to ex­plore,” Ped­er­son said be­fore Fri­day’s prac­tice. “I don’t know if nec­es­sar­ily they can wear a face cov­er­ing that cov­ers their mouth and­nose. I mean, there’s amouth­piece that’s a mouth guard, that’s in­volved, there’s all kinds of things that we’d have to work through. But I would an­tic­i­pate maybe if they’re out of the game on the side­line, yeah, I could see uswear­ing the masks.”

The NFLan­nounced this week that all teams must use in­ten­sive pro­to­col for the rest of the sea­son be­cause of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The league’s stricter man­dates call for vir­tual meet­ings with few ex­cep­tions, grab-and-go meals and no more than 10 play­ers in the weight room at one time, among other things.

The Ea­gles play at the Cleve­land Browns on Sun­day. They will play their next home­gameon Mon­day, Nov. 30, against the Seat­tle Sea­hawks.

 ?? SETHWENIG/AP ?? A spokesper­son from Gov. Tom Wolf’s of­fice con­firmed on Fri­day that foot­ball play­ers fall un­der one of the ex­cep­tions that al­lows for re­moval of masks if they con­sti­tute health threats.
SETHWENIG/AP A spokesper­son from Gov. Tom Wolf’s of­fice con­firmed on Fri­day that foot­ball play­ers fall un­der one of the ex­cep­tions that al­lows for re­moval of masks if they con­sti­tute health threats.

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