The last time J.J. Watt suited up against the Patriots was also the last game he played in 2016.
The defensive end was placed on injured reserve with a back injury shortly after the Week 3 loss at New England last season. He missed the Divisional round matchup in January at Foxborough. So Tuesday's practice at The Greenbrier versus New England was relished by the 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
"I treat practices like games, so every day is exciting and any time you get to go out there in full pads and practice and work on your craft, I think that's really gameday to me," Watt said. "So, days like today are great because you get to go out there, you get to work, you get to grind, you get to make mistakes and fix your mistakes and see where you're succeeding and see where you're failing."
Watt and the Texans worked for the first of two practices against the Patriots, and they'll go again on Wednesday in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The two squads will square off Saturday night at NRG Stadium in a preseason matchup. Watt explained the benefits of Tuesday's work with the reigning Super Bowl champs.
"Getting a chance to go against another team – now they have this on film, get to see what they did and really, what's cool about it, is you get to go out tomorrow and try and correct what you did wrong today," Watt said. "So, it's really good stuff for us and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Watt also said he's feeling great, physically, and that he's excited for the start of the season.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 1/14/2019)