Let’s face it. The Houston Texans were doomed in 2020 no matter how you slice it. Years of roster mismanagement and outright neglect gutted the defense. Poor personnel decisions led to the loss of key players like Jadeveon Clowney, D.J. Reader, and DeAndre Hopkins. A spate of injuries sidelined Justin Reid, Brandon Dunn, and Benardrick McKinney for the season.
With their mathematical elimination from the 2020 NFL Playoffs, announced to the jeers of Fox Sports and former Houston star Nuk, there’s no legitimate reason to keep putting franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson in harm’s way behind an offensive line that has yet to prove it can protect him.
Through the first 13 games this year, Watson has endured 39 sacks and 25 additional hits that didn’t result in a sack. Projecting that across the next three games would see him sacked 9 more times for a season total of 48, the second highest of his young career.
Sure, the Texans would love to play spoiler against the Colts or Titans, and they’ve historically had some great late season games against the Bengals, but is any of that worth losing Deshaun Watson? Or reducing his effectiveness for 2021 with a non-career-threatening injury?
There’s no way it’s in Watson’s nature to warm a bench. At this stage, however, Romeo Crennel and Jack Easterby need to steward the franchise as best as possible for the incoming general manager and head coach. Don’t break Watson in some mindless exercise of tilting at windmills. Whoever is responsible for making that call should be banned from sports for life if Watson plays again this year.