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Raiders HC Jon Gruden admits he previously contracted COVID-19

Jon Gruden revealed Monday night he'd previously contracted COVID-19 before the start of the 2020 season.

Gruden told reporters of his experience with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in response to a question about him not wearing his mask properly at all times during the Raiders' Monday night win over the Saints. News broke during the game that three coaches had been fined for improperly wearing facial coverings on the sidelines during their NFL games.

"I'm doing my best," Gruden told reporters, via ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. "I've had the virus. I'm doing my best. I'm very sensitive about it ... I'm calling plays. I just wanna communicate in these situations and if I get fined I'll have to pay the fine but I'm very sensitive about that and I apologize."

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported in early August the Raiders had informed their players Gruden had contracted COVID-19, but it was framed more as an exercise in preparation than a cause for alarm.

Gruden didn't follow up on the revelation while speaking with reporters, but the Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald tweeted he later checked in with the coach via text. Gruden told McDonald he'd contracted COVID-19 in mid-July and wasn't planning on going public with the information, but was irked by the public thinking he'd faked it to teach his team a lesson, per McDonald's tweet.

Three NFL head coaches have been known to have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic: Sean Payton, Doug Pederson and Anthony Lynn.

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