THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay says he’s likely responsible for the NFL memo sent Monday to reinforce that coaches must wear face coverings at all times on the sidelines during games and threatening discipline for those who don’t comply.
“I figured that memo was directed at me,” McVay said Monday evening during a video conference with reporters.
During a season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys in front of a Sunday Night Football television audience, McVay roamed the sideline with his mask mostly worn under his chin, a clear violation of the league’s coronavirus safety protocol.
“I’ve been getting blasted all day about it, so I just love it,” McVay said, a bit tongue-in-cheek, before continuing in a more serious tone. “I will do better.”
In contrast to McVay, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, when shown on the NBC broadcast, appeared to wear his mask throughout the 2-hour, 56-minute game.
McVay said he’s uncertain if he’ll stick with a face mask or potentially wear a neck gaiter when the Rams play the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday. A face shield, like the one Kansas City coach Andy Reid wore in the Chiefs’ opener and which fogged up, seems to be a non-starter for McVay.
“I was definitely one of the main culprits of not following what the league wants,” McVay said. “I will definitely be aware of that and do better.”
The league’s coronavirus safety protocol says that anyone with bench-area access, excluding players, must wear masks on game day, and that the mask must fit securely across the nose and mouth to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this article.