After Sunday’s 27-24 win over the Oakland Raiders, J.J. Watt made a gut-wrenching announcement on social media.
“It's tough,” Deshaun Watson said after the game. “I mean, that's a big part of this team, but he knows that this locker room, this organization, this town, this city, the Houston Nation is definitely going to support him through his recovery. We always love him, he's going to be right there with us supporting, helping us out and you hate to just see not just him, but anybody go down and any injury and especially season-ending injury. All the work that he put in to get to this point I mean it's crazy, it sucks, but we all send our prayers towards him, we love him and we definitely are going to support him.”
Watt said he suffered a pectoral injury when he tackled Raiders running back Josh Jacobs for a loss of six yards in the second quarter of Sunday’s game. But after the play, Watt adjusted his elbow brace and moved his arm a bit. Something wasn’t right. The medical staff evaluated Watt on the sideline before he headed to the locker room. He wouldn’t return.
After the game, head coach Bill O’Brien said Watt had been taken to the hospital for an MRI as the team hoped for the best-case scenario for the three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year.
“He’s a great football player,” O’Brien said. “He’s an even better guy. Unfortunately, we have been in this position before and I think we have got some guys here, a lot of different guys. It’s not going to be one guy that takes his place if that’s the case, but we certainly will miss him. I mean that’s obvious.”
Heading into Week 8, Watt led the league with 20 quarterback hits and finished Sunday’s game with three tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass defensed. Watt had not missed a game of his NFL career until his two season-ending injuries in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Watt underwent back surgery following the Texans Week 3 contest at New England. After a lower leg injury in 2017, Watt missed the final 11 games of the season. He returned in 2018 and earned First Team All-Pro honors at defensive end and Second Team All-Pro honors as an interior defensive lineman.
Check out the best shots of DE J.J. Watt from the 2018 season.