For the first time since 2015, J.J. Watt is going through a healthy offseason.
Watt missed the last 11 games of 2017 because of a knee injury, and the last 13 games of 2016 because of a back injury. He left the playoff loss that culminated the 2015 campaign with a groin injury.
Getting prepped for 2019 has been refreshing, in comparison.
“I get to spend a lot less time in the training room," Watt said during a Tuesday press conference at NRG Stadium. "I get to just work on my craft, work in the weight room and not have to worry as much, I would say. The last two years, you’re just trying to get back, hoping to be able to play and hoping that you can play at a decent level, whereas this year you get to actually focus on improving and getting better and not trying to come back from a traumatic injury.”
Even though he was on the comeback trail this time last year, he wound up with 16 sacks, 18 tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles en route to a first-team All-Pro selection.
Many times in the last year or so, Watt's talked about how tough it was to miss a combined 24 games in those two seasons. On Tuesday, though, he was asked if missing the wear-and-tear of that action might have added some extra time to his career.
“I really hope so," Watt said. "I don’t want to leave the game anytime soon. I love it. Hopefully we can say that I had two less years of pounding on my body, I had two less years of wear and tear, so that means two more years on the back end."
Watt has 92 sacks since entering the League in 2011.
He and the Texans began the offseason conditioning program on Monday.
Check out the best shots of DE J.J. Watt from the 2018 season.