Houston Texans: The latest on J.J. Watt’s possible return this season

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt could still return before the end of the 2019 season. With two games left, what’s the latest news on that? Look.

The Houston Texans were able to return an excellent performance against the Tennessee Titans, their division rival that’s in a highly-contested race to not only win the division but to earn a playoff berth as well.

With all of that on the line, it was imperative for the Houston Texans to be triumphant yesterday so that they’d be more in control of their destiny for these last two games.  But with a 24-21 decision over the Titans yesterday, it’s going to be very likely that this franchise will clinch its 4th berth in six seasons in the Bill O’Brien era, which is remarkable considering how hard it is to win the NFL.

But the Houston Texans find themselves starting at a 9-5 record, being on track to match the mark that they hit back last season but failing miserably in the Wild Card round to the Indianapolis Colts in a 21-7, embarrassing loss.

The Colts aren’t the threat that they were last season as they’re still figuring things out with Jacoby Brissett but I do believe that he’s the right man for the job to succeed Andrew Luck at this moment.

But their postseason hopes have all but vanished with them falling too far behind in the race to lead the AFC South.

But with all the good news surrounding this team, the notion of J.J. Watt suiting up before the end of the 2019 season still remains in play.  There was talk of this about two weeks ago but the Houston Texans refused to be pinned to the fact that we’ll have to wait until 2020 to see No. 99 out on the field again.

Watt, who’s been out for the past two months with an injury to his left pectoral muscle, is on the injured reserve list but he does have the designation-to-return tag attached just in case he were able to heal quicker than expected.

The Chron’s Aaron Wilson tried to pin O’Brien down with answer to this situation and here’s what he said:

"“I’m going to tell you that J.J. is working very, very hard and he has certainly made progressbased solely on his work ethic and who he’s working with in the training room,” O’Brien said Monday morning. “We’ll see how it goes.”"

O’Brien is not confirming or denying the fact that he could be back but an earlier report from

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicates that he could be back as early as Week 17.

If Watt were to re-tear his pec muscle again, he could still have the surgery to repair and be ready to go for 2020 so the risk is mitigated knowing that he will have the entire offseason to heal to try to give it a go next season.

With the departure of Jadeveon Clowney and Watt not being present, the pass rush is far from what it used to be but guys like Whitney Mercilus, D.J. Reader, Charles Omenihu, Brennan Scarlett and to a lesser extent Jacob Martin have all tried to help fill the void.

Texans should be vigorously targeting Janoris Jenkins. dark. Next

But Watt’s presence would mean so much to that front and I’d be fully on board if the Houston Texans still feel he can be productive with an accelerated return back to the gridiron.

Let’s keep an eye on this.

Watt has amassed 24 tackles — 15 solos — along with 4.0 sacks, four tackles-for-loss, 20 quarterback hits, three passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble through his first eight games this season before his injury.