A little more than four weeks ago, J.J. Watt tore his pectoral muscle. Watt himself tweeted that he was “[a]bsolutely gutted that I won’t be able to finish the season with my guys and give the fans what they deserve.” The Texans placed him on Injured Reserve. By all accounts, Watt’s 2019 season was over.
This morning, however, Ian Rapoport said that J.J. Watt could be back on the field for your Houston Texans as soon as the regular season finale (Week 17) finale against the Tennessee Titans. That would be about two months after Watt suffered what was universally believed to be a season-ending injury.
Think you’ve seen the last of #Texans star JJ Watt this season? Think again… Sources say Watt could return for the playoffs and Houston is saving an IR/to return spot for him . My story: https://t.co/18gehFxRaZ— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 1, 2019
Sources say that Houston is saving its final injured reserve/designated to return spot for Watt, and that there is real optimism from all parties that he can return for the playoffs. Yes, Watt could be back just three months or earlier after tearing his pec.
There is even a possibility, albeit slim, that Watt, who had four sacks in eight games to go with a whopping 20 QB hits before his injury, could be back for Week 17.
They are keeping it warm for Watt, in part because of his optimism for a fast recovery. He’ll have another MRI in a few weeks to gauge where he is.
Watt is doing incredibly well in rehab, sources say, and feels like he could go out there and play now even if that’s not realistic.
For the playoffs? It could be.
This is astounding. We all knew J.J. Watt was a freak of nature, but coming back from a torn pec in October to play in December or January? That was never contemplated back when Whitney Mercilus went down with the same injury, even earlier in the season, back in 2017.
I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself; this situation is obviously fluid and much will depend on what the next MRI says and how Watt progresses over the next month. But can you imagine the effect Watt’s return, albeit likely in a limited capacity, could have on the 2019 Houston Texans? All of a sudden, a team that hasn’t had any semblance of a consistent pass rush since Watt went down would find itself with a player of his caliber back in the lineup. Think about what that could mean for Romeo Crennel and the rest of Houston’s defense if the Texans do in fact earn a postseason berth.