Manny Patterson, who played 44 games at UMaine, has been signed to Washington’s practice squad. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Former University of Maine defensive back Manny Patterson has signed with Washington’s practice squad, the team announced Wednesday.

Patterson, a 2019 preseason All-American, earned his second consecutive All-CAA first team selection in 2019 and third overall all-conference choice. Before suffering a season-ending injury at Albany in 2019, Patterson had started 44 career games with 54 pass breakups, three interceptions and 113 total tackles.

Patterson joins Patrick Ricard (Ravens fullback) and Jamil Demby (Rams offensive line, practice squad) as former Black Bears who are currently in the NFL.

THE LEAGUE is threatening teams with possible suspensions for sideline personnel, including coaches, who do not properly wear face coverings during the pandemic. Forfeiting draft picks also could be among disciplinary measures for failing to comply with league/players’ union protocols.

In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, Troy Vincent, who oversees NFL football operations, told the 32 teams Wednesday that “accountability” is required on the sidelines.

“We will continue to address lack of compliance with accountability measures that may also include suspensions of persons involved, and/or the forfeiture of a draft choice(s),” Vincent wrote.

The NFL has fined several coaches $100,000 for lack of compliance, including Sean Payton of New Orleans and Jon Gruden of Las Vegas, who both have said they contracted and recovered from the coronavirus.

RAIDERS: Coach Jon Gruden said several of his players made a mistake when they didn’t wear masks or practice social distancing during a charity event that violated league and local COVID-19 rules.

About 10 players attended the fundraising event held Monday night by teammate Darren Waller’s foundation to raise money intended to help young people overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

Players were seen on video without masks during the indoor event while talking and mingling with guests, who also weren’t wearing masks.

THE NFL PLAYERS Association is asking that the 32 league teams change all field surfaces to natural grass because of injury concerns.

Union president JC Tretter said in a statement on Wednesday that artificial turf is significantly harder on the body than grass.

He cited the NFL’s injury data from 2012-18 that the contact injury rate for lower extremities was higher during practices and games held on turf. And that NFL players experienced a much higher rate of noncontact lower extremity injuries on turf compared to natural surfaces.

He also said that cold-weather teams such as the Packers, Steelers and Browns have natural grass fields. And indoor stadiums in Arizona and Las Vegas have figured out how to have a natural grass playing surface.

Earlier this season, the San Francisco 49ers complained about the surface at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey after losing several key players, including Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, to injuries in a Week 2 win over the Jets. The league inspected the playing surface and said it met all applicable standards and protocols. The 49ers played the following week again at MetLife and beat the Giants.

SAINTS: Top receiver Michael Thomas returned to practice for the first time since injuring his ankle in a season-opening victory over Tampa Bay on Sept. 13.

While Coach Sean Payton has yet to say if Thomas is on schedule to play this Sunday at Detroit, the fifth-year receiver ran through drills with a noticeable bounce in his step during the brief portion of practice open to reporters.

DOLPHINS: Miami rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa missed practice because of an illness that wasn’t related to the coronavirus, Coach Brian Flores said.

The Dolphins’ top draft pick and former Alabama star has yet to play as the backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Their other quarterback, rookie Reid Sinnett, is on the practice squad. Miami (1-2) plays host to Seattle (3-0) on Sunday.

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