NFL will bar cheerleaders, mascots from field in 2020 season in new coronavirus protocols

The NFL thus far has allowed teams to establish their own policies on fan attendance for the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the league is creating uniformity with another element of the game-day experience.

Cheerleaders and mascots will not be allowed to be on the field this season, as the league and NFL Players Association outlined new protocols sent to teams on Wednesday, a person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero was first to report the development.

Sideline reporters and pregame panelists also will not be allowed on the field level, per the agreement.

The updated protocols also removed language that banned postgame jersey exchanges between players, but the swaps still won't be allowed, according to Pelissero.

The NFL season is scheduled to kick off on Sept. 10 as the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans.

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