J.J. Watt headed in "right direction" for return

Bill O'Brien remains cautiously optimistic about J.J. Watt's return from back surgery.

"I would say that we're headed in the right direction with him," the head coach said Friday. "He certainly feels much better, obviously than he did two weeks ago."

The defensive end had back surgery in the weeks leading up to the start of training camp, and has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since late July. He's been working out with the team's medical and strength and conditioning staffs during practices over the last week.

O'Brien however, wouldn't go as far as guaranteeing the 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year would be active for the Week 1 matchup with Chicago.

"I don't think we're at the point right now, today where we're going to say we're going to activate him right now," O'Brien said. "But I know that it looks decent for him to be able to play in the first game."

Watt's started all 16 regular season games since entering the League in 2011.

The Texans have the weekend off and will return to the practice field on Monday. 

J.J. Watt--from his time as a Texan back to his Wisconsin Badger days--is featured here in photos.

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