No mask, no team. The Carolina 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 he wasn’t wearing 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
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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
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. 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 has been in the NFL since 2016. He hasn’t been active for a game since 2018.