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#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

Jon Gruden says coronavirus story was real, not fake

Jon Gruden

Jon Gruden says he actually did contract the coronavirus over the summer, contrary to what some reports may have claimed at the time.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported last month that the Las Vegas Raiders held a Zoom call with players that was supposed to be led by Gruden, but the coach did not show up. The players were told Gruden had been hospitalized with COVID-19. The goal, according to Garafolo, was for the Raiders to send a message to players that anyone can contract the coronavirus.

After the Raiders’ win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, Gruden tried to set the record straight. He said he actually did have COVID-19 and told the San Jose Mercury news that he is tired of people saying it was a prank.

“I did,” Gruden said. “I’m tired of (people) saying I faked it.”

Gruden is one of several NFL coaches who have been criticized for not wearing their masks properly during games. He told reporters on Monday that he takes the coronavirus seriously because he had it.

“I’ve had the virus, OK? I’m doing my best,” Gruden said. “I’m very sensitive about it, but I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate these situations. I apologize, and if I get fined, I will have to pay the fine. I’m very sensitive about all of that and I apologize.”

Three head coaches and their teams received hefty fines this week for not wearing their masks on Sunday. Based on what we saw during Monday night’s game, Gruden and Saints coach Sean Payton could be next.


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