Houston Texans: Current, former players weigh in on the NFL’s COVID policies

Houston Texans Jonathan Greenard (52) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans Jonathan Greenard (52) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Texans and the NFL managed to make it through the 2020 season despite a global pandemic, and today the NFL put policies in place to prevent the issues they learned from over the past year.

With these new policies, many opinions have been stated, including current and former Houston Texans players around the league voicing their thoughts on the changes.

Former Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has never been afraid to express feelings, and this week was no different. After the news was released that the NFL was putting new COVID policies in place for the upcoming season, he took to Twitter to make his displeasure known in a since-deleted tweet.

Hopkins also expressed that he was concerned about potential side effects that could come from the vaccine, in another since-deleted tweet. Ultimately, Hopkins said that he was not done playing and expected to be on the field for at least nine more years.

Texans second-year player Jonathan Greenard weighed in as well, urging people to get the vaccine and sharing his personal loss due to COVID. Greenard and Hopkins were two of several players that voiced their opinions on the NFL’s decision from either side of the fence.

The NFL’s new policy does not state that players are obligated to get the vaccine; however, not doing so could potentially affect their teams if they were to test positive. Punishments range from forfeiture of games, a loss on their record, and even the infected player’s entire team losing their weekly salary, according to Tom Pelissero.

For some reason, the pandemic has become a divisive topic that has been deemed political in nature. While I do believe that the NFL has its bottom line in mind, and does not want to deal with schedule changes or potentially having to cancel games, they are taking steps that are in the best interest of their players.

Every player, and person in general, has the right to choose not to get the vaccine. It is their choice to handle their individual health as they see fit. But, if things are actually going to get back to normal, and we all want to get back to seeing full stadiums and only being concerned with injuries on the field, the vaccine may be the safest and quickest path back.

Every time players take the field, they do so with the understanding that there is a risk involved. Every play could be their last, and every play could have life-altering effects on their body. But, they make the choice that the potential benefit outweighs the risk.

I am not advising anyone to do anything — I’m not a medical professional — but the same logic can be applied to the vaccine, like getting a flu shot. Getting it will not guarantee immunity, and it is not a miracle cure. But, it can reduce the chances of either getting sick or potentially losing your life.

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The goal should be for everyone to be safe and be able to enjoy the upcoming football season. Even you, Titans fans. Stay safe, everyone.