Monday night was a great night for the Las Vegas Raiders as they pulled off a big win versus the New Orleans Saints in the first game to ever take place in Sin City. However, it wasn’t all smiles for head coach Jon Gruden after the game. He’s come under fire for not consistently wearing a mask on the sideline which is mandated by the NFL.
He was asked about it after the game and wasn’t very happy while also making a very surprising revelation.
“I’ve had the virus. I’m doing my best,” Gruden said. “I’m very sensitive about it.”
Due to how the media is able to interact with coaches right now, nobody was able to ask him a follow-up question on that. However, Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group was able to reach out to the coach via text and Gruden confirmed that he did have COVID-19 back in July.
Until now, there was no report of this happening to the coach. He definitely kept it quiet. Fortunately, it looks like he was able to make a full recovery. Gruden elaborated a bit more on Tuesday but still remained vague.
“I don’t want to get into it really. It wasn’t pleasant,” Gruden said. “It was reported that I made up that I had the virus and it really ticked me off because I would never do something like that. It’s a very serious matter and obviously I’m sensitive about it but it was a tough deal just like everybody else that’s had it.”
Insider Reveals Info on the Raiders Tricking Players Previously
What makes the fact that Gruden had the virus more surprising is the fact that it’s been reported previously that the coach tricked his players into thinking he had it. Special team coach Rich Bisaccia apparently orchestrated the whole thing and according to The Atheltic’s Vic Tafur, Gruden was not very happy about it:
The NFL Network reported some variation of that at the time, with the implication that Gruden was in on it. He wasn’t and was very upset about the report. Now we find out that Gruden actually had the virus just weeks earlier.
And this all comes out because he was upset Monday night by a question about wearing a mask.
Some of his players knew, but many didn’t until they saw it on Twitter on Monday night.
If Bisaccia really did try to trick the team, that was obviously a bad call on his part, especially if he knew that Gruden had the virus shortly before.
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Gruden Will Likely Get Fined
Despite the fact that he’s already had COVID-19, Gruden is still expected to wear his mask at all times on the sideline. However, it’s proven to be a tough thing to do for a number of coaches. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, three head coaches received $100,000 fines for not wearing their masks. In addition, each team was fined $250,000.
That’s a stiff penalty but it will definitely send a message. Both Gruden and Saints head coach Sean Payton were frequently seen without their masks on. They’re both probably going to get hit in the bank account soon.