J.J. Watt pushing to return from IR ahead of playoffs


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17 Dec 2019, 00:08 IST

J.J. Watt - Cropped
J.J. Watt on the sideline during Texans v Broncos in December

J.J. Watt is working to return from injured reserve ahead of the playoffs and the Houston Texans are open to the possibility of bringing him back if he makes sufficient progress.

Coach Bill O’Brien revealed Watt had made positive steps in his recovery from a torn pectoral he suffered in October that was initially expected to have brought his NFL season to an end.

The Texans will monitor the defensive end closely with a view to him returning to the roster for Week 17 or the postseason should they seal a playoff berth.

Watt, 30, sustained the injury in Week 8 as the Texans won against the Oakland Raiders, saying afterwards “this game can be beautiful and it can also be brutal”.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year also missed significant portions of the 2016 and 2017 campaigns with season-ending injuries.

But his possible return for the postseason would come as a massive boost for a Texans team who regained control of the AFC South with a 24-21 road win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

It was a victory that saw them bounce back from a poor defeat against the Denver Broncos last time out and move to 9-5 for the 2019 season.

“J.J. is working very, very hard,” O’Brien, whose team are yet to use their second IR/designated to return spot, told reporters on Monday.

“He’s certainly made progress based on his work ethic and who he’s working within the training room. We will see how it goes.”

Watt recorded four sacks, a forced fumble and three passes defended in his eight games this year.

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