Houston Texans Are The Latest NFL Organization To Close Facilities After Positive COVID-19 Test On Wednesday
The Texans are closing down their team facilities on Wednesday morning after a player tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced.
“Late last night, we received notice that a Texans player tested positive for COVID-19,” the team said in a statement. “In accordance with NFL protocols, the player immediately self-isolated and our Infection Control Officer and other members of the Infection Response Team began working with the NFL to perform contact tracing. Our facility will be closed today to players for deep cleaning. We are in close consultation with the NFL, as well as our team of independent doctors and specialists, and will follow their guidance regarding our scheduled bye week operations. The health and safety of our team, as well as our entire staff, are of highest priority.”
Houston has its previously-scheduled bye week coming up this weekend after losing 35-20 to Green Bay on Sunday and falling to 1-6 on the season. The team has not reported which player is at the root of the closure, but it placed offensive guard Max Scharpinger on the COVID-19 reserve list shortly after the announcement was released. Players can be placed on the list after either testing positive for the virus or coming in close contact with someone who has been infected.
Houston becomes the eighth team to shut down this season after Jacksonville, New England, Tennessee, Atlanta and Indianapolis took similar measures earlier in the season. The NFL has been forced to move 11 games from their original time slots and four games have been postponed to this point, but the bye week provides a buffer for the league if positive tests continue to pop and inactive numbers increase based off of contract tracing.
In a memo sent to all 32 teams on Friday from NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent, the league reminded organizations that any franchise that causes the postponement of games based on“COVID protocol breaches, positive tests and/or numerous high-risk close contacts . . . risks negative competitive implications, including accountability measures being assessed against the offending club.”
Several coaches have already received fines up to $100,000 for not wearing proper face coverings, the Raiders were fined $50,000 for allowing an unauthorized team employee into the locker room following a game in September and the Titans received a fine of $350,000 for their handling of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Both Houston and Green Bay will continue to receive their mandated weekly tests, and the fact that the latter has not had a positive test show up yet is a good sign.