Texans star J.J. Watt has major issues with NFL’s COVID-19 protocols

By Vincent Frank
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

NFL training camps are slated to start here within the next two weeks. In fact, rookies will be reporting for some teams sooner than that.

The obvious backdrop to all of this is an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that’s increasing in size throughout the United States. Players continue to take issue with the NFL’s lack of real protocols as it relates to the virus. One of the game’s top stars has now decided to speak out.

J.J. Watt has major issues with NFL’s COVID-19 response, lack of protocols

This seems less-than-ideal. It also fits in nicely with what other top-end players have said recently regarding the NFL and union’s lack of a clear plan.

COVID-19 testing protocols

As we have seen with MLB getting going in the next week, testing issues are not limited to the general public. It has threatened to halt the baseball season starting on July 23. That’s especially true when it comes to delayed test results. It’s nearly impossible to contact trace when its taking several days to get results.

Watt is concerned that the league has not even set up testing protocols right now. Will players be tested daily or every other day? It would be nice to know.

NFL preseason games?

This is another major backdrop. The league has decided to cut its preseason in half with each team playing two games. Though, players want the preseason scrapped altogether. Given that the preseason is slated to start in about a month, this seems like a big deal.

NFL contract structures to change?

The financial backdrop is real here. It was previously noted that the league wants to withhold 35% of player pay and put it in escrow as a way to make up for revenue shortcomings that will come without fans likely being allowed to attend games.

Obviously, players have taken issue with this. What if a player tests positive for COVID-19 during the season? That’s pretty much at least two weeks said player would miss. How would it impact his contract and the team’s roster?

As it is, Watt’s list of grievances are understandable. The league is running out of time to put together a plan to start training camp. Without a resolution on this, it’s hard to imagine training camp will get going as planned on July 28.