J.J. Watt played in three defensive series and logged one tackle on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Even though his time on the field was limited, and his team ultimately lost 21-20 to the Rams, the afternoon was a success.
"I liked that I came off the field under my own power," the Texans defensive end joked after the contest.
Watt's 2017 ended like his 2016: in injury.
Saturday was the first game action for him since he was helped off the field on Sunday Night Football against the Chiefs in Week 5 last fall.
Watt explained his goals for Saturday were simple.
"That's the biggest thing I wanted to get out of today: I wanted to get in on a tackle," Watt said. "I wanted to pop back up. Get back in the huddle. Play another play. Go off to the sideline. Get a series in. Get another series. You just want to get those little intricacies of the game that you don't get in practice.
Jadeveon Clowney, who was also making his first preseason appearance of 2018, was happy to have his teammate back on the field.
"I think he looked pretty good," Clowney said. "I was out there with him, so I really wasn't watching him. But for him to be back out there after everything that he went through, it's a blessing for him and everybody else. It was great to have him back."
But the return didn't come without a supreme effort during the rehab process by Watt. Head coach Bill O'Brien was quick to point that out after the game.
"He's really worked hard to get back to where he's at right now," O'Brien said. "I think he's playing at a real high level. He's been out there every day. It's like I always say: I'm very happy that he's on our team."
Watt, Clowney and the rest of the starters won't play this Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Cowboys at NRG Stadium.
Check out photos of the Houston Texans as they warm up to take on the Rams for the third preseason game in 2018.