Is this…a pair of shorts on Keith Burns’ face?

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Chargers’ coach Keith Burns sports a pair of shorts over his facial area.
Chargers’ coach Keith Burns sports a pair of shorts over his facial area.
Screenshot: NFL on FOX

Yes, that is a pair of athletic shorts on an NFL coach’s face.

After the league fined Jon Gruden, Mike Tomlin, and their respective teams for mask violations, no coach wants to lose money or cost their team a draft pick.

By now you would think coaches, coming into Week 9, halfway through the 2020 season, understand the rules. They’ve had months to figure this out. Just put a piece of cloth (or plexiglass) over your face. You won’t get fined, you won’t lose draft picks, and most importantly, it helps keep you and your team safe.

It’s pretty simple. And, by now, most coaches are catching on.

Meet Keith Burns. You probably didn’t know about him until now.

Burns, an obscure assistant special teams coach with the Los Angeles Chargers, couldn’t hide from FOX cameras today while he wore this on his face.


Mark Schlereth is trying to find the words to explain this. So am I.

I’ve got a lot of questions. The big one is, what is that around his ear? Did he tie the drawstrings to keep the shorts above his nose?

We’ve seen Jon Gruden wear some sort of cut-off material on his face before, but no coach has pulled off the “shorts as a mask” move yet… and I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be the last time we see it.

Burns has given us one of the most bizarre images of the NFL season. But the league will probably fine him, unless shorts are now CDC-sanctioned protective gear.


2020 will keep 2020ing, even in football.