While other teams have made definitive statements about how they’ll handle some or all of their scheduled home games in 2020 amidst the global pandemic that is COVID-19, your Houston Texans had remained mostly quiet on the matter. Given the seemingly ever changing nature of Texas and Houston’s response to the virus, there was no rush to make an announcement. With the Texans set to open the NFL season against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in less than a month and the home opener at NRG Stadium a mere ten days after that, however, it stood to reason that we’d hear something soon.
And indeed we did. The Texans have declared that fans will not be permitted to attend the Texans’ Week Two clash against the Ravens at NRG Stadium on Sunday, September 20th.
#Texans will NOT have fans at NRG Stadium for their Sept 20 home opener against the Ravens.They’ll announce today the decision for other home games will be made at a later date. It’ll depend on the COVID-19 pandemic & will be made n concert w/local medical&public health officials— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 14, 2020
As a football fan, this stinks. As a Houstonian who finds himself reviewing national, statewide, and local Coronavirus data each day, it’s also a no-brainer from a public health perspective. Regardless of where you come down on the question of where we should be in terms of a return to the way of life we had six months ago, I’d like to believe it’s not controversial to express that optional, large public gatherings, in which the attendees are in close proximity to each other, in indoor spaces, are probably not the best thing to engage in at the moment.
The Texans’ next scheduled home game after Week Two is against the Vikings on October 4, 2020. I don’t expect the Texans’ policy on fan attendance at NRG Stadium to change a mere two weeks after the home opener, but who knows? Perhaps a limited number of Texans fans will get to watch Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and the lads wreak havoc at NRG at some point this season.