Texans defensive end J.J. Watt will not miss any regular-season games after dislocating his left elbow in practice on Thursday morning.
Watt was injured when a teammate ran into the back of his extended arm, sending his elbow in the wrong direction. Head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan popped it back into place on the field before Watt was taken for X-rays.
"We dodged another bullet," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Thursday afternoon. "All the tests came back good, and obviously, he's going to miss some time, but he's going to be ready to go. And knowing J.J., it's going to be pretty darn quick. So we're very, very fortunate. He was already in there rehabbing when I walked over to practice."
Kubiak said he would not put a timetable on Watt's injury because the Texans are in no hurry to rush him back for preseason games. An emerging star on the Texans' defense, Watt had 56 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a rookie last season along with 3.5 sacks and an interception return for a touchdown in the playoffs.
"We know what we're going to get from J.J.," Kubiak said. "The key is that he's there on noon September 9th (for the Texans' Week 1 game against Miami). We know he's going to be there, so we'll get the rehab process going, make sure we keep his conditioning level up and move forward."
According to Kubiak, there is no concern about Watt having lingering effects from his injury after he returns.
"Doctors felt very good about it," he said. "That's the only conversation I've had with 'em at this point."
Watt was the fourth Texans starter to be injured in the last five days, following wide receiver Andre Johnson (groin), cornerback Kareem Jackson (hamstring) and left tackle Duane Brown (ankle). None of the injuries are considered serious, but all of them occurred on the same practice field.
"I think there's something buried there on Field 1," Kubiak said. "I don't know. We're going to move over to field 2 and 3 and see if we can keep them upright."
Defensive end Tim Jamison will work as a starter until Watt returns. Kubiak said nose tackle Ra'Shon "Sonny" Harris also can play defensive end and that the Texans might sign a defensive lineman for camp. Rookie defensive end Jared Crick, a fourth-round pick from Nebraska, has been dealing with a minor neck issue since Wednesday and is day-to-day.