Every-Thing Sports

How players testing positive for COVID-19 could impact the Texans

Photo by Getty Images.

What a fun, odd, puzzling, crazy, WTF year 2020 has been so far! We've had Tiger King (gay, gun-toting, private zookeeper, convicted felon in murder for hire), a global COVID-19 pandemic (a respiratory based disease that supposedly originated from eating bats), Murder Hornets (some sort of hybrid hornet whose size and venomous sting is more deadly than others), and more police brutality cases (murders) that have finally drawn the ire of more than the black community that has been disproportionately impacted.

The death of George Floyd, a Houston native, sparked a revolution of sorts. Protests were done in all 50 states and dozens of nations worldwide. Mind you, we're still under a global pandemic from COVID-19. Social distancing and whatnot has gone to the wayside with the protests. Many people weren't wearing masks, or weren't wearing them properly. Couple that with the government wanting to open things up to stimulate the economy, and you have a recipe for disaster.

News came down Monday that several Cowboys and Texans players have tested positive for COVID-19. The only one named was Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott. The immediate question I pose is simple: How does this impact the upcoming NFL season, specifically regarding the Texans?

It's still early

According to the NFL's timeline for returning, most teams are scheduled to report to training camp on July 28. The Cowboys and Steelers are scheduled to go to camp on July 22 since they're playing in the Hall of Fame preseason special. That timeline gives players who've tested positive right at a month to quarantine and get healthy before training camp gets started. Although this virus is highly unpredictable as far as who, what, when, and how it takes hold and impacts individuals, a month for a pro athlete should be plenty of time.

Who tested positive?

Apart from Elliott, there are no known superstar players at this point in time who tested positive. With the Texans moving to a new offensive philosophy (speed based), it will require lots of cohesion, chemistry, and timing. Building an offense around speed requires a different level of offseason preparation. If Deshaun Watson, a key offensive lineman, or one of his top targets has tested positive, this could hold back the necessary reps needed for any and all the new pieces. Hopefully, that isn't the case. But if it is, it could prove difficult.

Could be a non-issue

With positive tests increasing because things are opening up, it could dealy the start of the season. The NFL was smart enough to set up the league schedule to account for this. If there's a delay, these early positive tests could prove a non-issue. It would give teams and players enough time to not only recover, but to put plans in place to account for guys testing positive. The refs already came out and expressed concern about the virus. A setback instarting the season could give the league time to react to anything that may negatively impact their start, whether on time or not.

When it comes to the local team, I think this team can, andmaybe will, prove some doubters wrong this season. Despite the odds stacked against them, they have some things working for them. Bill O'Brien's recent statements speaking out for social injustice, J.J. Watt calling out Twitter trolls about kneeling, as well as other prominent players protesting and attending George Floyd's funeral could all be rallying points for this team. As long as no featured players test positive too close to the start of or during the season, they could fare well. Let's hope masks, gloves, social distancing, washing hands, and whatnot procide enough of a barrier between the virus and the start of what could be a successful season.

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After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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And listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

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