Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is one of the best players in the NFL, so when he’s not on the field the defense isn’t the same. Thankfully, the back injury the star pass rusher suffered last year is well behind him, and he recently hinted he has no plans to retire soon.
He reiterated to reporters on Wednesday that his surgically repaired back “feels great” heading into training camp.
“I feel great,” Watt said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I’m very happy with the way it responded. Obviously with the amount of time we took this time to make sure it responded properly, I would hope that it would respond the way it did. It feels great.”
Watt also discussed what his mindset needs to be in order to completely come back and play at his best.
“Now, it’s a matter of going out there and having fun and enjoying it. With a major injury, it’s so easy to sometimes think about it too much and let that creep into the back of your mind. That’s what’s been so nice about the practices to let it fade, fade and fade. Playing football, it feels natural, it feels good. I feel like I’m home.”
Missing all but three games last year before being shut down, Watt tallied just eight tackles and 1.5 sacks. Watching him struggle through those three games, it was clear he wasn’t himself. The Watt we all got used to watching on a regular basis manhandles opponents and gets to the quarterback at a rate we rarely see in the NFL.
If he’s able to stay healthy this year, the Texans will be frighteningly good on defense. And if the team gets solid play from its quarterback, whomever it is behind center, then Houston has a chance to go deep into the playoffs.