J.J. Watt has no interest in playing football while wearing a face shield

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The various issues on which the NFL and NFL Players Association continue to haggle include whether and to what extent the use of full face shields will be made mandatory.

Many if not most (if not all) players don’t want them. The league wants players to wear, basically, an extension of the visor that many players currently wear, with the rest of the inside of the face mask covered by a plastic barrier.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has no interest in wearing a full face shield, because he determined long ago he has no interest wearing half of a face shield.

“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.”

That’s one of the primary disconnects between practices aimed at keeping players safe and the realities of playing football. It won’t be football if players can’t play it as comfortably as possible, which illustrates how difficult it will be to strike the balance between maximum virus protection and maximum football capacity.

49 responses to “J.J. Watt has no interest in playing football while wearing a face shield

  1. Today’s NFL players have zero mental toughness. What makes mental toughness is adapting to the situation like the military does all of the time.

  2. Meh. At this point, between protests, Anthem controversy, and debate about coronavirus protections, I’m good if they just cancel the season. I think it will be a relief.

  3. J.J. Watt just needs to worry about staying on the field. If he could just somehow manage to do that, I wouldn’t give a hoot what he was wearing.

  4. If all the players do as J.J. said the league will go alone with that. I think its a heat issue. Time will tell. Bill

  5. This is not happening. I hate to break it to anyone who still thinks it is, but there is no way the 1,000,000 moving parts that need to mesh to NFL teams on the field this fall is not going to be overcome.

    Every league that has attempted restarts (in the US anyway) are already facing major problems. And those are leagues with teams that have much smaller rosters, and should be more manageable than the NFL.

    People need to start getting their heads around it- there ain’t going to be NFL games this year.

  6. Applying common sense is simply too easy nowadays and never gets done
    If as a football player they are afraid of catching the virus then wear a mask. The same thing should apply to general public, if you’re afraid of catching the virus wear a mask. why should everyone have to wear a mask for the minority of people that are afraid of catching the virus and may have a we can immune system.

  7. Houston we have a problem! If the players are pushing back on wearing face coverage in a contact sport how do they even get to GO to start playing. No football until a vaccine is in place is the way this is going ……

  8. That will not work. As soon as you start sweating and breathing heavy the visors fog up, a shield that covers the mouth would be worse. Not to mention the impact of the shield on body temp. Football equipment is heavy and hot enough, further restricting a players ability to stay cool and breathe freely is a recipe for heatstroke.

  9. So that is a “HARD no” for Watt? Shocking…

    I sympathize with the players on this one. But I cant grasp what the end game is for the players. They say they dont want to catch the virus, which is understandable. So anytime the NFL begins discussing a way to keep the players safer, the players also dont want to implement that.

    So where does that leave us? Basically, the players dont want to play, period. They dont want to play without safety protocols, and they dont want to play with safety protocols, so it doesnt take a rocket surgeon to realize the players dont want to play, but they dont want to say “we dont want to play”. It is that game of chicken where the owners want to be able to say “we tried”, and the players dont want to be the bad guy because fan perception matters. This is stupid. The NFL needs to put together a presentation to the players that shows the financial impacts of no season. How much will the salary cap go down for the next 3 years. How many players will lose their jobs (because a lower cap means players who would not be cut, will need to be cut for cap compliance), etc. Lay it all out there for what no season means. And let the players vote on whether they want to play or not. If the majority votes to play, then allow the players to opt in, or opt out.

  10. He only plays in half the games anyways; 32 of the last 64 for the Texans. So at least they’ll be used to playing without him.

  11. Gee, not even for several million dollars? Must be nice to make that kind of decision. Where I work we are required to put them on and for a lousy 15 bucks an hour. Must be nice to have that much say in the matter.

  12. Fine. If the overall safety of the league is not important to you, park your pay check and go home.

  13. JJ Watt’s Elbow, Abdomen Muscle, Hand, Back Disc, Tibia, or Knee don’t want to play with a face shield either.

  14. New cases yesterday:
    Germany – 298
    Denmark – 10
    Norway – 11
    Sweden – 57
    US – 58,000+

    Wear your mask stupid.

  15. There is no way to play football as we knew it safely in the era of COVID. You can’t social distance in a locker room or on a football field.

  16. He’s entitled to his opinion, and he has past experience with an eye guard and didn’t like it.

    But if this is what is needed for the NFL to have a season, it’s what’s needed.

    His attitude is similar to those who’ve disregarded safety guidelines during the pandemic – and now the US is an embarrassment in the world. We can’t stay away from beaches and bars and parties because it’s “too hard”. It’s selfish, senseless entitlement.

    If players refuse to wear face guards and the virus starts infecting the NFL during the season, then what? And I say this all with the feeling that the season probably won’t happen, and shouldn’t, amidst the current COVID surge around the country.

  17. Face guards should not be necessary if testing protocols and other precautions are thought through thoroughly enough. Nobody should be taking the field in any capacity while infected with the virus if things are done carefully.

  18. More importantly, the shield would make it harder for the TV cameras to capture JJ’s face.

  19. FoozieGrooler says:
    July 9, 2020 at 10:30 am
    New cases yesterday:
    Germany – 298
    Denmark – 10
    Norway – 11
    Sweden – 57
    US – 58,000+

    Wear your mask stupid.

    ————————————————

    If we only tested people who showed up at a doctor’s office like those other countries, our case count would be low too.

  20. I do think this group of players, owners,nflpa are going to be the ones that reduce interest dramatically.

  21. The same thing should apply to general public, if you’re afraid of catching the virus wear a mask.

  22. The same thing should apply to general public, if you’re afraid of catching the virus wear a mask.
    ——————————-
    The mask isn’t to protect from catching covid, it’s there to prevent spreading it. But as so very evident, no one has covid therefore no one wears a mask. Only 50,000 new cases the other day – but no one has it enough to wear a mask in public

  23. For someone who consistently compares NFL games to war he seems to have zero toughness when it actually comes down to it

  24. Just cancel the whole thing. The multiple anthems, kneeling, covid-19… it’s a lost cause, anyway. All this crap is killed my interest in seeing any football this year. I always get hype for the Draft, but even that sucked this year. It’s probably going to be too dangerous for the players, coaches, and other staff and their families.

  25. I agree with JJ. I wouldnt want to run, bike or walk briskly with a mask on for an extended period of time.

  26. If anyone is allowed to take the field with Covid the season is over at that point.

    The testing protocols have to be extremely thorough and isolate anyone testing positive long before they take the field or interact with anyone else in the NFL bubble.

    Face shields on helmets won’t be enough to stop the spread if the virus gets into the NFL bubble.

  27. So he’s uncomfortable with a shield covering his mouth? Yeah…I could see not being used to something covering your mouth in football….I mean think bout it, it’d be even worse if there was a protective device that actually went in your mouth…if that ever happened, I don’t think football players could ever accept that.

  28. nflcombineresults says:
    July 9, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    If anyone is allowed to take the field with Covid the season is over at that point.

    The testing protocols have to be extremely thorough and isolate anyone testing positive long before they take the field or interact with anyone else in the NFL bubble.

    Face shields on helmets won’t be enough to stop the spread if the virus gets into the NFL bubble.

    ———-

    “When” the virus gets in the bubble. The ship on “if” has sailed.

  29. nflcombineresults says:
    July 9, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    If anyone is allowed to take the field with Covid the season is over at that point.

    The testing protocols have to be extremely thorough and isolate anyone testing positive long before they take the field or interact with anyone else in the NFL bubble.

    Face shields on helmets won’t be enough to stop the spread if the virus gets into the NFL bubble.

    ———-

    “When” the virus gets in the bubble. The ship on “if” sailed months ago and isn’t coming back any time soon. And locking up in an extended series of physical face-to-face battle with hard breathing makes those spring break beach videos look like social distancing. Test all you want, but there will be people slipping through the cracks, and when they do, they become super-spreaders. Just the nature of the sport. If golf with no fans can’t keep players from getting infected, why on earth would anyone think the NFL has any shot?

  30. FoozieGrooler says:
    July 9, 2020 at 10:30 am
    New cases yesterday:
    Germany – 298
    Denmark – 10
    Norway – 11
    Sweden – 57
    US – 58,000+

    Wear your mask stupid.

    —–

    You realize that Sweden never closed down anything do you not? And you realize that Sweden did not force anyone to wear masks do you not?

  31. Least likable player in the league. This guys ego has been out of control forever. I cant think of another athlete that I like less. GO AWAY…

  32. Well, apparently Sweden has responsible adults running and living in their country. They don’t suffer with a lunatic fringe, that just won’t wear a mask even if it would save the economy or lives..

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