A Carolina Panthers practice squad player seen dancing in a crowded restaurant without a mask this past weekend lost his job Monday.
The Panthers released practice squad cornerback Josh Hawkins in addition to wide receiver Seth Roberts, the team announced.
Photos and video of Hawkins dancing at a Charlotte restaurant gained social media attention because of his lack of a mask.
Panthers released practice squad cornerback Josh Hawkins. Over the weekend this video of him dancing in a crowded restaurant w/no mask was posted on IG. When asked if the move was related, Matt Rhule wouldn’t comment specifically. Said it was done in best interest of the team. pic.twitter.com/rVUeAdK2ux
— Carolina Blitz (@KeepBlitzin) October 26, 2020
Here’s Panthers practice squad CB Josh Hawkins at a crowded restaurant (dancing in an aisle without a mask) last night, via Instagram.
No rules against NFL players going out, but Panthers have had a rash of players on COVID list the past two weeks.
This isn’t a great look. pic.twitter.com/yax5nLqlI0
— Josh Klein (@joshkleinrules) October 26, 2020
Matt Rhule: ‘Best interest of the team’
When asked to elaborate on why Hawkins was released, head coach Matt Rhule declined.
“I would just say we thought it was in the best interest of the team,” Rhule told reporters.
NFL taking hard line on COVID protocols
The Panthers have placed five players on the NFL’s COVID/reserve list this season, including two who were on it last week. The NFL is cracking down on COVID-19 protocol violations after a rash of outbreaks forced the league to reshuffle its schedule several times since Week 3.
Hawkins, 27, has been in the NFL since 2016. He played 26 games in his first two seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He hasn’t been active for a game since 2018.
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