J.J. Watt might be getting his wish with NFL ruling on face shields
Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt declared he’d probably sit out this season if forced to wear a face shield in his helmet.
It appears that J.J. Watt may be getting his wish.
Asked earlier this month about his feelings regarding a potential face shield or protective visor inside NFL helmets that would help prevent or reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission between football players, Watt raised some eyebrows around the league when he flat-out declared he probably wouldn’t play in 2020 if that came to be.
"“My second year in the league I thought it’d be cool, I put a visor on my helmet,” Watt told reporters, per CBS Sports’ John Breech. “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.”"
The good news for Texans fans — and fans of J.J. Watt — is that it now appears the league will only recommend wear a protective mask inside their helmet that players , as opposed to making it mandatory on the field, per USA Today’s Barry Werner.
The Texans need J.J. Watt out there on the field this year — and every year
The theoretical absence of Watt from the Houston Texans roster this year would be devastating, of course. While Houston has learned to adjust and adapt because of Watt’s recent injury history in three of the past four years, he remains arguably one of the best defensive players in the NFL today when he’s healthy and active for the Texans.
The Texans particularly need Watt for his ability to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Even after missing half the season last year, he still finished second on the team in sacks with 4.0.
Outside of his rookie season, Watt has had double-digit sacks every year he’s played all 16 regular season games.