J.J. Watt Is Playing a Dangerous Game of Chicken With the NFL
It has been nothing short of a trying time in the last few months for sports leagues as they move through concerns with the coronavirus. There remain some lingering issues as the NFL is hoping to continue to move forward with the 2020 season as planned. However, there is some push back to some of the suggestions that they have put forth for their players. There is one that J.J. Watt isn’t a fan of at all that could lead to the Houston Texans star sitting out next season entirely.
NFL players concerned with coronavirus ahead of 2020 season
Through the last couple of months, the NFL continues to operate in a manner that walks the line with the precautionary guidelines.
The league has drawn back in many areas such as no team practices, limited access to the training facilities, and canceling the preseason’s first two games. Despite that, there is still the plan to get things going as planned for the 2020 season. That alone has drawn some concerns with players such as New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs both voicing that they have some hesitations about playing this year.
That concern may be rooted with several players testing positive for the coronavirus this offseason with notable stars Von Miller and Ezekiel Elliott having their bouts with the illness. That has led the NFL to push for one possible move to help combat that concern on the field that now J.J. Watt has pushed back.
J.J. Watt refusing to wearing face visor for 2020 season
One of the suggested routes that the NFL has picked up a liking involves the gear that the players will play with on the field.
There has been some momentum toward an extended full face shield that uses a plastic barrier. It hasn’t taken long for players to come out against it, with J.J. Watt being the latest as he went as far as stating to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that he would sit out the 2020 season if he had to wear it.
“My second year in the league I thought it’d be cool, I put a visor on my helmet,” Watt said during a Wednesday visit to #PFTPM. “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 intentions are in the right place with something of that nature, but it’s not a move that players will favor for various reasons. In J.J. Watt’s case, he never had any interest in wearing even half of a face shield that made it hard for him to breathe.
If it’s something that players won’t be physically comfortable while playing, it’s hard to imagine that it will be mandated.
Everything is up in the air for NFL
The NFL has continued to move forward with an optimistic approach regarding the 2020 season going as planned.
There is still much unknown around the situation as a second wave of the virus has hit the country hard. There is yet to be any vaccine to treat the illness that has doesn’t have an expected time frame for things to head in the right direction.
The amount of money on the line will likely continue to push the NFL to get things going as scheduled, but it’s certainly a situation to keep an eye on moving forward.