Deshaun Watson Ahead of Schedule to Return from Knee Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2018

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers,Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson could recover from his torn ACL in time to participate in organized team activities in the spring, head coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday. 

O'Brien told reporters Watson's rehabilitation is ahead of schedule, which could allow him to work out with the team—at least in a limited capacity—this spring, according to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson.

Watson threw for 1,699 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his first seven games, and the Texans were 3-3 in his six starts. After the 2017 first-round draft pick injured his knee during practice Nov. 2, Houston won one game the rest of the season.

Watson's injury wasn't the sole reason for the Texans' second-half collapse. J.J. Watt appeared in five games before a leg injury knocked him out for the season as well.

The health of both Watson and Watt will be Houston's primary concerns in the offseason, and of the two, Watson may be more important to the team's hopes of returning to the playoffs in 2018.

Watt turns 29 in March, and Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman was among those who wondered whether the four-time All-Pro can remain a force on the defensive side of the ball. Watson, on the other hand, is just getting started and appears to be the franchise quarterback the Texans have desperately needed.

If Watson can carry his hot first half of 2017 into 2018, then the Texans should have a real shot at winning the AFC South for the third time in four seasons.

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