The Texans have fined multiple players for attending the opening of quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s new restaurant franchise in violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols, Sarah Barshop of ESPN reports.
A social media post taken during the Dec. 15 event at Lefty’s, a cheesesteak franchise, shows six players without masks gathered together for a photo. Watson, a minority owner of the restaurant, is in the photo, along with offensive linemen Tytus Howard, Roderick Johnson and Laremy Tunsil, running back Duke Johnson and receiver Brandin Cooks, per Barshop. Defensive end Charles Omenihu, who was not pictured, also attended the opening, Barshop adds.
The NFL’s COVID-19 protocols prohibit more than three players from gathering together outside the team facility.
Barshop reports that at least one player was fined $5,000 and Watson more because it was his event.
The NFL is investigating.
Watson said during his media session last week that NFL protocols were followed at the event.
“Yes, for sure,” he said. “I mean, we had the masks. 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.”