Bill O’Brien rules J.J. Watt out for season

By Jesse Reed

After a setback involving his back landed J.J. Watt on injured reserve, Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has confirmed the defensive end will be out the rest of the season.

Watt underwent surgery in July to repair a herniated disc in his back. A month later, O’Brien was talking about missing his top defender for perhaps the first two weeks of the season. Being the workout warrior and football fanatic he is, he came back quickly and started in Week 1 for the Texans.

By the time Week 3 rolled around and the Texans were getting manhandled by the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football, it was clear something was not right with Watt physically.

Clearly, he came back too soon. At this point, we’re just crossing our fingers and saying a prayer that the NFL’s best overall player did not do himself permanent harm.

The Texans will miss Watt’s presence this year, to be sure. But better to miss him for one season than to miss him for the rest of time. Hopefully a full year away from the physical wear and tear of the NFL will do his body good enough to get him back on the field in 2017.

Then again, one wonders if Watt, who has contemplated retirement already in his career, might call it quits after this latest scare.