Watson, a minority owner of the cheesesteak franchise Lefty's, hosted the grand opening on Dec. 15. Despite the NFL's COVID-19 protocols prohibiting more than three players from gathering, at least six Texans players, including Watson, were in attendance at the event.
According sources, at least one player involved was fined $5,000 and Watson was fined more because it was his event.
Teammates pictured together at the event included offensive linemen Tytus Howard, Roderick Johnson and Laremy Tunsil, running back Duke Johnson and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Defensive end Charles Omenihu was also in attendance.
Deshaun Watson @deshaunwatson event @charless_94 @KingTunsil78 @RodBeBalling @voltpt_ @AlexDWeb1 @brandincooks @DukeJohnson_8 @ChesterPitts @levelstothis_2 Willie D, Z-Ro, Watson's family and girlfriend @JillyAnais @eatleftys @NickScurfield @StickysChicken Ryan Lachaine, etc pic.twitter.com/yX74XCj2jS— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 15, 2020
According to the NFL's COVID-19 protocols, "Group Activity Outside of the Club Facility a. Groups of more than three (3) Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 Individuals, including players, are prohibited from gathering outside of the Club facility or team travel."
The NFL's investigation into the incident is still open to see if some Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 individuals who went to the restaurant just picked up takeout while wearing a mask and left.
When Watson was asked whether the event was following the NFL's protocols last week, the quarterback said, "Yes, for sure."
"I mean, we had the masks," Watson said. "We did everything that we were supposed to do. Six feet from different people. It was a restaurant opening. It wasn't really an event. It was a grand opening of my restaurant."
In September, Raiders tight end Darren Waller was fined $30,000 and nine of his teammates were fined $15,000 each after several players were seen without masks at a charity event.