J.J. Watt Injury: Updates on Texans Star's Recovery from Back Surgery

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans looks on during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is still expected to miss the entire 2016 season despite having eligibility to come off injured reserve.

Continue for updates.


Watt's Brother Comments on DE's Recovery

Sunday, Nov. 27

"He's recovering well," Chargers fullback Derek Watt told reporters. "He's on pace to get back."


Watt Responds to Questions About His Future

Tuesday, Nov. 22

Watt took to the Players' Tribune to address concerns about his future in the NFL on Tuesday:

Football has been everything to me since I was 10 years old. For the past few months, all of that has been taken away. It's been like a mini-retirement. And I realized that the money, the fame, the awards, the people talking about me on TV, none of that matters. None of those things have any effect on why I love this game and why I give everything I have to it.

Don't get me wrong, those things are nice, and I appreciate how fortunate I am to make the kind of money I do and experience the things I get to experience, but that's not what I crave. What I crave is that feeling of being completely and entirely spent. When you walk off the field at the end of a two-a-day in the middle of August drenched in sweat, completely exhausted. When you finish a 6 a.m. workout before school and you're fighting to keep your eyes open in first period. When you sit around the bonfire after the game with your boys, and your body has nothing left. You're almost numb. And you know you laid it all on the line.

That's what I miss. It's the pep rallies. It's the music blasting on the drive to the game. It's that first fall chill in the air.

Standing there watching those kids, all of that hit me.

Yes, over the last year, I've been through some dark times, and my body was beat up more than most people probably realize. But I've learned that a life without adversity is a boring life to live. I've experienced the highs, and I've experienced the lows, and both are better than living in the middle.

The kid in me is back.

Am I done?

Hell no.

I'm just getting started.

Watt also confessed that he could've lost his leg due to a staph infection suffered in 2015 if the team trainer hadn't recognized the issue as quickly as he did.


Latest on Watt's Timeline for Return

Monday, Nov. 21

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Watt can legally be activated as early as Week 12, but the team plans to keep him out for the remainder of the season.


Watt Struggling to Shake Injury Bug

The All-Pro last played in Week 3 and finished his year with just eight tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Watt missed training camp and the preseason with a herniated disc. While he was able to play three games, the injury acted up and he was ruled out for the rest of the year after undergoing back surgery in September. 

"This won't be fun," Watt said of his surgery in a September message on his Twitter account. "But it is necessary in order for me to return to 100% and play at the level that I am capable of playing at."

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network previously reported the defensive end won't even be able to resume training until about December, two months removed from his surgery. With Houston keeping him off the field, Watt will have an entire offseason to get healthy for 2017.

At his best, Watt is arguably the top defensive player in the entire NFL. He has been named the Defensive Player of the Year in three of the past four seasons while also earning first-team All-Pro each of those four years. He has 76 career sacks, leading the NFL twice (2012 and 2015) in this category.

Houston has turned to Jadeveon Clowney and Christian Covington at defensive end in Watt's absence.

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