Playing defensive end in the NFL isn't easy.
Doing it with a cast on your hand definitely isn't, but J.J. Watt doesn't care.
With a broken bone in his left hand, Watt is getting adjusted to having a cast as an appendage for the next few games.
"First, one thing that I will say is that he will get more and more adjusted to having that club on his hand, without the use of his fingers," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "That is the type of athlete he is, that is the type of worker that he is. He is just a great player."
Watt, who injured his hand in Thursday's practice, played with the cast for the first time in Sunday's 27-6 loss to New England. Watt said it was painful at times, but "that's football."
"It's not terrible," Watt said. "I mean, I wish I had a hand but I don't, so you make do with what you got."
He registered three tackles (two solo), including one for a loss in the game, even without the use of his fingers on his left hand. Although Watt's statistics weren't earth-shattering, O'Brien remains encouraged by Watt's effectiveness when he is in the game.
"I think the other thing too is to look at, when you watch him play, it is not all about the stats," O'Brien said. "He put a lot of heat on (Tom) Brady. He did a lot of things in the running game to help stop the run. Even though he may not have been the one making the tackle, he was very disruptive, along with (Jadeveon) Clowney, along with some other guys in there, so he is still his disruptive self. Just because it doesn't always show up on the stats sheet, doesn't mean he didn't have a good game. I thought that he played a whale of a game."
Watt extended his streak of consecutive regular season games started to 77, which ranks third among active defensive ends. He's hoping to continue that streak on Sunday, when the Texans travel to Indianapolis, where the franchise has never won a game.
"I mean, it's something we know," Watt said. "It's part of our history. It's something we need to change."
The (6-7) Texans will kick off against the (6-7) Colts on Sunday at noon CT. Both teams are vying for the AFC South division title with just three games remaining in the 2015 season.
Check out some of the best pregame shots from Sunday night's game against the Patriots.