Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson opened a new Lefty’s Cheesesteak franchise on Tuesday, and he and teammates appeared to violate the league’s COVID-19 rules in the process.
League rules say no more than three players may gather outside the team facility or team travel, rules put in place in an attempt to prevent the kinds of outbreaks within teams that have forced multiple games to be rescheduled. But according to reports from ESPN and the Houston Chronicle, at least seven Texans attended the event at Watson’s restaurant: Watson, Tytus Howard, Duke Johnson, Laremy Tunsil, Roderick Johnson, Brandin Cooks and Charles Omenihu.
Asked about it on Wednesday, Watson claimed that his event followed NFL protocols and that those in attendance had masks, but pictures posted on social media showed Watson and teammates without masks.
The NFL has confirmed it is aware of Watson’s event but has not commented further. Texans coach Romeo Crennel said he was not aware of the event.