Bill O'Brien on J.J. Watt Returning from Injury for Texans: 'We Will See'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2019

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien isn't ruling out the possibility of J.J. Watt returning this season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:  

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Texans coach Bill O’Brien was asked about the possibility of JJ Watt returning off Injured reserve this season, and it sounds pretty positive: "He's certainly made progress based on his work ethic and who he's working with in the training room. We will see."

Injuries have sabotaged Watt's career in recent seasons, holding him to eight or fewer games in three of the last four years.

The defensive lineman missed 24 of 32 possible games from 2016-17, while a torn pectoral appeared as though it would cause a premature end to his 2019 campaign.

Watt remained one of the most impactful defenders in the NFL before the injury, totaling four sacks and 20 quarterback hits in eight games.

The 30-year-old has always been an elite player when on the field. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year totaled 69 sacks from 2012-15, leading the NFL in the category twice in this stretch.

When he was at full strength in 2018, Watt tallied 16 sacks and a league-best seven forced fumbles while being named first-team All-Pro for the fifth time in his career.

Getting him back would be an enormous boost for the Texans come the postseason as they seek to win the franchise's first championship.