Houston Texans star J.J. Watt finds silver lining amid coronavirus pandemic

Houston Texans J.J. Watt
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) against the Kansas City Chiefs in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Like many of us, Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt has been stuck at home for the past few months amid the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than let the quarantine life get him down, he’s found a way to maximize the time at home as he prepares for his 10th NFL season.

J.J. Watt worked out every day during pandemic

On Saturday, Watt shared that “the quarantine situation has given me literally nothing to do but work out every day,” per Sarah Barshop of ESPN.

“I mean, there’s nothing else you can do,” Watt said. “You can’t go out, you can’t go to the movies, you can’t go to eat. So the workout program for me this offseason has been awesome because I’ve had a full offseason to do my workouts exactly how I needed to do them. I’ve been able to focus on my nutrition every single day. I’ve counted every single calorie the whole way. Basically tried to fully transform my body from the beginning of the offseason until now.

“It truly has been one of the best offseasons from a workout standpoint that I’ve ever had, and I’m very, very pleased about it,” Watt said, via ESPN.com. “My body feels as good as it has felt since probably 2014, 2015, somewhere around there. So I’m really looking forward to getting into camp and just getting to work.”

It’s worth pointing out that the 2014 and 2015 seasons saw Watt earn his second and third NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. During those two seasons, he racked up 38 sacks and was absolutely unstoppable on the gridiron.

J.J. Watt’s legendary career derailed by injuries

Following the 2015 NFL season, Watt’s body started to break down. He had groin surgery after that campaign, then ended up needing surgery for a herniated disc in his back before the 2016 season. After coming back quickly from that surgery, Watt underwent a second back surgery and missed 13 games that year.

In 2017, Watt played five games before suffering a brutal leg injury that required surgery and knocked him out the rest of that season.

Finally in 2018, Watt played the entire season for the first time in three years. He looked like his old self again, racking up 16 sacks and seven forced fumbles.

Unfortunately, last season saw Watt suffer yet another season-ending injury when he tore his pectoral in Week 8.

With all that injury history in his rear-view mirror, it’s awesome to hear Watt feeling excited about how his body is feeling now. If he’s able to stay healthy again this season and truly is in the kind of shape we saw from 2014-15, he could be on his way to a fourth NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020.