J.J. Watt Spoke Up For Texans Rookies Before Training Camp

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- Before the Texans reported to training camp, J.J. Watt was vocal about the NFL and its players not being on the same page when it came to safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On July 16, Watt noted how teams still had not provided a valid plan for responding to infectious disease emergencies. 

Watt said he was getting questions from Texans rookies, who at the time were supposed to report for testing in just 48 hours, confused about the protocols. 

Rookies, however, don't have much of a voice in the league, nor do they fully understand how everything works.

Watt understood this. He, along with other veterans around the NFL, engineered a social media campaign calling for answers and solutions.  

“I haven’t necessarily been that vocal in that aspect for a long time in my career," Watt said. "Just like a lot of guys, when you’re young in your career, when you’re early on in your career, you just want to play. You don’t really care about anything else, you don’t care about the economics of it or how protocols go or anything. You just want to get out there and play. The longer that I go and the better I understand about it, I just want to make sure the players are at least having that voice.

"I had rookies here on this team that were supposed to be reporting on a certain date and they hadn’t any clue or any voice about what was going on about the protocols, about the tests or anything. That’s when I really tried to step up and make sure that those guys who were asking me what should they do, I wanted to make sure that they could get those answers because I knew that they didn’t necessarily have those voice to speak up and get those answers. That’s why I was on every one of those calls, that’s why I was trying to make sure we got the right answers. I think we came to something that – you’re always going to find a way to make something better but I think we came to an agreement that’s going to keep everyone as safe as possible given the circumstances and also give guys the option to opt out if they want to if they don’t feel safe.”

Watt has been following the situation in Major League Baseball, where as many as 20 members of Miami Marlins have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days.

That's obviously something Watt and the Texans would like to avoid. 

They've invested in making NRG Stadium as clean as possible, even restyling it to accommodate physical distancing. 

Watt said he isn't sure how much of an outbreak it would take for him to no longer feel comfortable playing. 

"I think the most important thing is the protocol that goes into place once somebody tests positive, because you can’t have guys going out there and still participating with anybody else," Watt said "I think the protocols that we have in place for when a guy tests positive are immediately removing them from the situation and we also have these tracking devices that track, do the contact tracing for you so you know exactly who has been at risk around that player. I think that’s a big thing for us that as long as that is implemented following a positive test, I think that we’ll be successful.

"But again, I’m not a doctor. I don’t know exactly how this thing works. I think there’s a lot of very, very smart people that don’t know exactly how it works. We’re trying to figure it out the best we can but like I said, there’s always going to be some level of risk.”

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