J.J. Watt is doing fine.
His head coach gave an update on the defensive end's return from September back surgery. While he doesn't know exactly when Watt will return, Bill O'Brien said the outlook is good.
"No idea about the time table for the offseason but I can tell you he's doing well," O'Brien said. "He's in there working very hard to get better. He's been in there every day. You can see him out on the field running, you can see him doing different things in the weight room. So to no one's surprise, I'm sure that he is ahead of schedule."
Watt played in three games this season, finishing with 1.5 sacks and eight tackles. The 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year returned to the facilities at NRG Stadium in late November for rehab and treatments, and
was on the sidelines at a few Texans home games in December and January.
When he gets back to action in 2017, the Texans are confident their defense will be even better than it was this season, when they led the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game.
"The future looks bright," linebacker Whitney Mercilus said. "Honestly, we've got a great group of guys who stepped up their game this year and did a great job for us to be in the position we were in. To have J.J. back next year is going to be great. He's going to add that much more."
Cornerback A.J. Bouye, who had an interception in each of the Texans two playoff games this January, as well as one more in the regular season, said the team takeaways will likely jump when Watt returns.
"Just the turnovers he alone forced the past years he's been here and healthy," Bouye said. "I tell him every time I see him that I'm excited for him to come back. He's looking amazing right now, like he's working out. I can tell he's motivated and ready to come back and help the team."
The Texans begin organized offseason conditioning in mid-April.
J.J. Watt--from his time as a Texan back to his Wisconsin Badger days--is featured here in photos.