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JJ Watt Suffers Groin Injury in Texans Practice; Likely to Miss Preseason Opener

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is unlikely to play in Thursday's preseason opener after suffering a groin injury during Monday's practice.

Watt noted that he and the team are taking the cautious approach, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:

"Yeah, it's all just precautionary. The groin tightened up a little bit. Rather than try to push through and do some damage to it, I shut it down. I've gotten smarter as I've gotten older. I started listening to the trainers a little bit more than listening to my own brain."

He is not expected to participate in Tuesday's practice, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.

This is just the latest injury concern for the Houston star. After playing in every regular-season game for the first five years of his career, he was limited to just eight total games the past two seasons. He underwent back surgery for a career-threatening injury in 2016, and he suffered a left tibial plateau fracture in October 2017.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year was able to bounce back from his leg injury and quickly return to form last year, recording 16 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 16 games during the regular season. His strong performance in 2018 earned him his fifth career first-team All-Pro selection.

PFF @PFF

That J.J. Watt guy continues to do big things and he led the Texans defense in overall grade and pass-rush grade in 2018 https://t.co/hQFpDOcP0r

PFF HOU Texans @PFF_Texans

Coming in at No. 2 is J.J. Watt, who tied for third among edge defenders in overall grade (90.6), finishing with an elite grade for the fifth time in his eight-year career. He finished second at his position in regular-season pressures (74) and defensive stops (49). https://t.co/MkbrEEqypi

In other words, anytime he is not on the field is a big blow to the Texans' defense. With the regular season approximately one month away, the team wants to have Watt as healthy as possible for when the games matter.

When Watt and Jadeveon Clowney—who is currently holding out—are both healthy, Houston has two pass-rushers capable of double-digit totals. Without Watt, though, this defense is not quite as tenacious.