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Deshaun Watson fined by Texans for violating COVID-19 protocols

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Deshaun Watson and his Houston Texans teammates have been fined by the team for breaching the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

Deshaun Watson, teammates fined by the club for breaching NFL’s protocols at restaurant launch

Deshaun Watson made headlines last week, but for the wrong reason. The quarterback, who recently became the owner of a Lefty’s Cheesesteak franchise, held a grand opening event of the restaurant last Tuesday.

The event also saw the presence of Watson’s teammates Brandin Cooks, Laremy Tunsil, Tytus Howard, Duke Johnson, Roderick Johnson and Charles Omenihu.

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Multiple photos from the launch event that floated around NFL Twitter showcased the players not wearing masks. Moreover, the gathering itself is a violation of the league’s prohibition of any gathering of more than three players outside club facility or team travel.

Now, according to ESPN’s Sarah Barshop, the club has stepped in to charge Watson and all Texans players present at the event. The quarterback has been penalised $7,500 while the others have been fined $5,000 per head.

Watson, however, claimed last week that all necessary protocols were followed at the event.

“I mean, we had the masks,” Watson said in an interview with ESPN, “We did everything that we were supposed to do. Six feet from different people.

It was a restaurant opening. It wasn’t really an event. It was a grand opening of my restaurant. So people were coming in to get food and things like that and everyone was excited about it,” the 25-year-old added.

ALSO READ: NFL teams prohibited from creating local bubbles during postseason

While the penalty was conducted by the team, the NFL is yet to take any steps but confirmed last week that they were aware of the incident, as NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy asserted that the event has come under the league’s radar.

In previous incidents, the NFL has been very strict in dealing with a protocol breach. Such was the case of Saints and Patriots, who were penalised heavily as well as the formers losing a draft pick for multiple protocol breaches.

Deshaun Watson clocked 373 passing yards and completed 33 of 41 passes including two touchdown passes in their 20-27 defeat against Colts last Saturday.

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