The first player to opt out of the 2020 season for the Houston Texans is defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes — and his loss is not insignificant.
With NFL training camps officially getting underway and an agreement finally in place between the league and the players’ association regarding COVID-19 protocols, more and more players are beginning to opt out of the 2020 season.
On Tuesday, nose tackle Eddie Vanderdoes became the first member of the Houston Texans to do so.
A former UCLA Bruin drafted in the third round back in 2017 by the then-Oakland Raiders, Vanderdoes was signed to the Texans practice squad three days before Halloween last year. About a month later, he was promoted to the active roster.
Vanderdoes played in three games for Houston: against New England, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee during the regular season, all in December. He racked up eight tackles during those three appearances.
Though projected as a reserve behind starter Brandon Dunn, Vanderdoes nevertheless made our projection for the final Houston roster this season. He was definitely expected to contribute in a more meaningful way, and the void he leaves behind is not insubstantial.
The Texans could see more players opt out in the coming days and weeks
Hopefully, this isn’t the beginning of a trend down in Houston … for the sake of the football perspective, at least.
No one should begrudge Vanderdoes or any NFL player who decides to opt out from this season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The health and safety of players and their families obviously comes well above the prospect of playing a game professionally for the enjoyment of fans.
That said, it will be important to monitor whether more players from the Texans’ roster follow Vanderdoes’ example and decide to sit this season out.
Players who do decide to opt out won’t get paid their regular contract allowance for this season, but they’ll still get paid a sizable chunk of change — even more so if they or their loved ones are deemed “high risk.”