Texans preparing to be without off-season workouts due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Patrick D. Starr

Houston, Texas- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the NFL shutting down all gatherings at club facilities, the Houston Texans are preparing to head into the 2020 season without an off-season program. The Texans would be without their off-season program that consists of three phases ending with a mandatory mini-camp. 

It would amount to 13 days on the football field to prepare for training camp plus training in the weight room to get rookies acclimated to the NFL life. 

On Friday, the Texans put together a conference call led by Marc Vandemeer with Chairman and CEO Cal McNair, head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien, and executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby with season ticket holders to ask questions to the group to answer.

O'Brien admitted that he feels the off-season program will be canceled by the NFL despite it still being planned to take place. The Texans are working on plans to keep the team on workout regiments with them spread out across the country, which has proved a challenge for the organization.

"I think that's the biggest challenge because it's bigger than football," O'Brien said of keeping the team moving towards the season. "We do miss the players. We're going to miss that offseason program. It hasn't been officially canceled yet, but I think it will be, and we're going to miss that. But we're doing as good a job as we can of staying in touch with our players."

Director of Performance Nutrition Ladd Harris, Director of Rehabilitation Roland Ramirez, and Head Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Eubanks have been helping direct the players at home with workouts and emphasizing following the Harris County's protocol for social distancing. 

Players have taken home workout equipment and turned their residences into makeshift performance centers. Offensive lineman Nick Martin and Max Scharping loaded up squat racks from the facility and took them to their houses to have equipment for training while tight end Darren Fells has turned his garage into his training grounds to prepare for the season. 

The Texans' strength and rehab staff keep in touch with players while the coaching staff prepares for the NFL Draft. O'Brien is kept in the loop of where players are and the workouts during this stretch.

"I know JJ Watt is up in Wisconsin," O'Brien continued. "Deshaun Watson's been in Georgia working and guys are all over the map but they're all working. Sending us videos of what their workouts look like, We have a bunch of good guys we got a bunch of winners. We're excited about where we're at right now, relative to what's going on in the world. You know we have, we have a bunch of guys that are go getters that are able to work out on their own and get things done."

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