HOUSTON – Despite the NFL's COVID-19 protocols banning the collection of more than three players, at least six Texas players, including quarterback Deshaun Watson, attended an opening ceremony for Watson's new restaurant franchise on Tuesday.
Watson, a minority owner of the Lefty & # 39; s cheesesteak franchise, was joined by several teammates, family members and friends at the opening. Teammates pictured at the event included Tytus Howard, Duke Johnson, Laremy Tunsil, Roderick Johnson, and Brandin Cooks. The Houston Chronicle also reported that Charles Omenihu was present.
According to the NFL's COVID-19 protocols, groups of more than three (3) Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 people, including players, are prohibited from gathering outside the club grounds or from traveling in teams. "
When league spokesman Brian McCarthy reached out for comment on the event, he said, "We are aware of the event but will decline further comments."
When Watson was asked on Wednesday whether the event was in compliance with NFL protocols, Watson said, "Yeah, sure."
"I mean, we had the masks," said Watson. "We did everything we should. Six feet away from different people. It was a restaurant opening. It wasn't really an event. It was a big opening of my restaurant. So people came in to get food and things like that and everyone loved it. Well, it turned out to be pretty good, and right now it's still popping after the news I got after that. "
Texan's interim coach Romeo Crennel said earlier in the day he was unaware of the players' presence at the event.
"I didn't see that and I mean, I'm not with these guys 24/7," Crennel said. "When they're here with us we wear masks and I encourage them to wear their mask, and I haven't been to this event so I don't know what they did or why they didn't have them on or something like that."
In Texas, restaurants are allowed to be open up to 75% capacity. However, Governor Greg Abbott's ordinance states that "groups must be kept a minimum of 6 feet from other groups at all times, including while waiting to be seated in the restaurant." ""
"The 6-foot gap between groups seated at different tables is not required if the restaurant provides technical controls such as a partition between tables," says the minimum standard health protocols. "A booth can be adjacent to another booth as long as there is a partition between the cubicles and that partition is at least 6 feet above the floor. The tables should generally be at least 6 feet from any part of another table that can be a restaurant table that are at least 4 feet from any part of another table, provided the restaurant uses a partition between tables that is at least 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. "