The Las Vegas Raiders are under investigation by the NFL following a Monday night victory over the New Orleans Saints. The team allegedly allowed an unauthorized person into the locker room. There are heavy restrictions surrounding locker room access due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Raiders allegedly broke the rules.
According to ESPN, an unauthorized team employee allegedly entered the Raiders' locker room without the credentials to do so on Monday night. The league believes that there is evidence showing that the employee eluded the security checkpoints. The NFL and NFLPA worked together with state and federal officials before the season to establish strict guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus. Sources say that the NFL is investigating the incident and will make a decision about whether to hand down discipline.
Under the current guidelines, only 40 employees of each organization can enter the locker room. The list of approved personnel includes the coaching staff, athletic training staff, equipment staff, general manager, one member of team security and one member of the team's public relations/communications department.
The investigation follows news that the NFL had fined the Las Vegas Raiders, coach Jon Gruden, the New Orleans Saints and coach Sean Payton for their own coronavirus violations during the game. The two coaches did not properly wear facemasks after receiving previous warnings from the league. The infractions resulted in $100,000 fines for the coaches and $250,000 for their respective teams.
Gruden also turned heads after the game by revealing that he actually tested positive for the coronavirus midway through the summer. "I'm doing my best," Gruden said to reporters, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. "I've had the virus. I'm doing my best. I'm very sensitive about it ... I'm calling plays. I just wanna communicate in these situations and if I get fined I'll have to pay the fine but I'm very sensitive about that and I apologize."
Gruden didn't provide any further information about contracting coronavirus, but the Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald obtained more details. He texted the head coach and learned that Gruden had tested positive in mid-July. The coach said that he didn't plan on going public with the diagnosis, but he was "irked" by the public, thinking he had faked the positive diagnosis.
Gruden talked to reporters on Tuesday and faced questions about his revelation. He explained that his experience with the coronavirus was not pleasant. He also took aim at the media members reporting that he had "made up" the positive test to trick his players.