The COVID-19 pandemic has altered everyone's lives and routines the last few months.
For the Houston Texans, there are no organized team activities (OTAs). The players haven't been on the field together as a team since the playoff loss at Kansas City in January. They've not been in the weight room at NRG Stadium in awhile.
The Texans, along with the rest of the NFL, have conducted their offseason program in a virtual manner with the help of Zoom, Discord and other apps.
For most, it's been a tough but necessary adjustment.
Many, though, have made the best of it.
Tight end Jordan Akins would like to be with his teammates and getting reps with quarterback Deshaun Watson. But in the absence of the normal late spring setup, he's taken the time to focus on other ways to improve.
"This year it's been my weight," Akins said. "I've been trying to gain weight and maintain speed. As well as footwork. My blocking footwork."
2020 will be year three in the NFL for Akins. In 2019 he led the tight ends group with 36 catches for 418 yards. He caught a pair of touchdowns, one in the third quarter and another in the fourth during the Texans Week 3 win at the Chargers. He was listed at 6-4, 243 pounds last season.
Instead of the physical work the players go through during OTAs, Akins has pivoted and is pinpointed on repairing some things.
"Just getting my body right," Akins said. "I've really been focusing on my body. Usually we don't have this much time. Usually we're back and going into OTAs and things like that. Now I'm actually able to focus on it. I've been doing a little yoga. I've been stretching a lot more. I've been taking care of my body and it's been working in my best interest."
Akins and the Texans open the season on Thursday Night Football at Kansas City on September 10.