Cleaning jerseys will be nothing new to NFL equipment managers, but retrieving opposing team jerseys in the mail room is probably something they didn't know would be a part of their job description.
But like so many other aspects of the 2020 NFL season, player jersey exchanges have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and the league is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of players.
The league had previously announced that the postgame jersey swap had been banned, which resulted in several players -- and even doctors -- reacting to the news with confusion.
However, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network announced on Monday that the beloved jersey swaps were back on... "sort of." He revealed the list of procedures, adding that on-field exchanges are prohibited and are subject to disciplinary measures from those players' teams.
- Players must communicate whether they would like to participate in exchanging their jersey with a player from the opposing team via email, text, or other communication with his club's equipment manager(s).
- Club equipment managers must remove the Kinexon contact tracing devices from jerseys in the locker room and return the device to the charging cradle or personal wrist strap.
- Club equipment managers must collect the jerseys of players participating in the jersey exchange for that game and clean the jerseys (clubs are encouraged, but not required, to use Tide Hygienic Clean Detergent, which will be provided by Tide in October.
- After the participating player's jersey is cleaned, the equipment managers ship the clean jersey to the club facility of the player from the opposing team with whom the participating player is exchanging his jersey.
- Prior to the following game, the club equipment managers will return the Kinexon devices to replacement jerseys for all players who had exchanged a jersey in the previous game.
- Players are NOT permitted to exchange jerseys during your club's designated Crucial Catch and Salute to Service games. Those jerseys must be returned to NFL Auction for cancer awareness and military appreciation fundraising initiatives.
Pelissero also noted that Tide will cover the cost of one replacement jersey for each player, and that teams have been asked to "forgo discipline for jerseys exchanged pursuant to this memorandum" unlike the policies of past years.
Talking with the opposing team before a big matchup isn't part of the norm, but if an NFL player wants a jersey of one of his favorite stars, that's what he'll have to do in 2020.