Houston Texans defensive lineman and Aaron Donald’s main competition for “Best Defensive Player of the Decade,” J.J. Watt posted an update on Thursday about the upcoming 2020 NFL season. Watt tweeted that after listening to four conference calls with the NFL Players Association recently, players want to play but still haven’t been given instructions on a number of topics, including coronavirus testing and training camp.
Teams are planned to start reporting for work within the next week, scheduling that could be confusing if those players and coaches aren’t 100% sure that the NFL is actually ready for them this weekend.
In the interest of having everyone on the same page in terms of what we know and don’t know at this time, here are a few things I’ve learned being on four NFLPA calls in the last two weeks with hundreds of other players.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 16, 2020
Keep in mind our rookies are scheduled to report in 48 hrs pic.twitter.com/wAH1XyQenf
Watt’s personal assessment of the situation is that:
- Players want to play (as Watt repeated in his notes)
- Players have not been given an Infectious Disease Emergency Response plan.
- Players don’t know if there will be a preseason or how training camp is meant to operate safely.
- Players aren’t sure how often they will be tested or what will happen to them and the team if they test positive for coronavirus.
One week ago, Watt said that if required to wear a face shield to protect the spread of the virus during a game that he may not play this season.
“My second year in the league I thought it’d be cool, I put a visor on my helmet,” Watt said Wednesday. “I was like, ‘It looks so cool, I wanna put a visor on.’ I had it on for about three periods of practice and I said, ‘Take this sucker off I’m gonna die out here.’ ... So now you’re gonna put something around my mouth? You can keep that. If that comes into play, I don’t think you’re gonna see me on the field.”
The LA Rams are supposed to host the New Orleans Saints at SoFi Stadium in less than a month, Aug. 14, but it is presumed that at least half of the preseason will be canceled. Others expect no preseason at all.