In less than two weeks, the Houston Texans will buckle their chin straps, strap their shoulder pads, and lace up their cleats for the first time this season when training camp begins on July 30th. However, as the Texans prepare to take the field, they will do so without their defensive leader, JJ Watt.
Late Thursday evening, reports surfaced that the three time NFL Defensive Player of the Year would require surgery on his back to repair a herniated disk that he apparently injured during the 2015 season. As a result, the defensive end will be forced to start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP) and will miss the majority of camp. However, those inside the organization believe Watt should be ready to play by the season opener on September 11th against the Chicago Bears.
JJ Watt has undergone back surgery and will start camp on physically unable 2 perform but should b ready 4 season.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) July 22, 2016
NFL reporters believe the time table for Watt’s injury should be around 6-8 weeks, with Watt gaining full health eight weeks from the time of surgery. Under that time table, Watt would return to the team the week of their season opener.
Some experts believe this abbreviated timetable for the injury Watt sustained may be too optimistic. NFL reporter Mike Garafolo tweeted late Thursday that league sources indicated Watt’s return could end up taking ten weeks, causing him to miss a couple of regular season games.
On JJ Watt, texted with a source informed of his prognosis who pumped the brakes on early optimism. Cautioned it could take up to 10 weeks.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 22, 2016
Although not new to injuries, Watt has proved to be a durable player in the NFL in his short, but prestigious NFL career. In five seasons, the Wisconsin product has not missed a single game, gaining a reputation as one of the toughest players in the league. Earlier this offseason, Watt revealed he played most of 2016 with several muscle tears.
Following a big offseason, the Texans have hopes of a repeat division crown and a drive to the Super Bowl in 2016. Time will tell how Watt progresses following surgery, but he’s undoubtedly a big part of Houston’s plans for playoff contention. With the 2016 season just weeks away, Watt will be forced to rebound quickly from a difficult injury.
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