Texans prepare for Bills in Wild Card game, possible return of J.J. Watt

The Texans host the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card game after a 10-6 finish in 2019.

With the Texans' playoff seeding decided before kickoff, Houston rested a number of key starters, including quarterback Deshaun Watson, receiver DeAndre Hopkins, defensive lineman D.J. Reader and linebacker Benardrick McKinney.

"I think we're as healthy as we can possibly be at this time," head coach Bill O'Brien said Sunday. "We need to come in here ready to go, find out when we play, probably Saturday, and we'll get going this week and have a good week of preparation. We know Buffalo is a really good football team. They've got a very good disciplined team, got a really good, young quarterback that's playing really well. They do a lot of things well. They're very well coached. Sean McDermott does a great job so you know it's a big challenge, and we've got to have a good week of preparation."

On Sunday, the Texans fell 35-14 to the Tennessee Titans, who secured the final AFC wildcard spot with the win. The Bills also finished 10-6 following their Week 17 loss to the New York Jets. Quarterback Josh Allen, who has completed 58.8 percent of passes for 20 touchdown and just nine interceptions, will make his postseason debut. Buffalo's defense is ranked second in the NFL, allowing an average of 16.2 points per game. The Bills are fifth in the AFC with a plus-6 turnover differential, forcing 22 takeaways (13 interceptions, nine fumbles) with just 16 giveaways (10 interceptions, six fumbles).

"I think they've just got a good team top to bottom, offense, defense, special teams, well-coached in McDermott," Johnathan Joseph said. "He's always going to be sharp and I think we just have to go and play our style of football."

The Texans may also see the return of J.J. Watt, who could be back after missing the final eight games of the 2019 regular season. Watt returned to practice on December 24 after rehabbing his way back from season-ending surgery for a pectoral injury on October 27 against Oakland.

"J.J. came back last week, and he practiced," O'Brien said. "We kind of built him up throughout the week. He did a little individual in the beginning, and then he was able to take some practice reps during the week. He's on the way, and we'll make a determination on that at some point next week."

The Texans needed a win and Kansas City loss to move up in the playoff seeding, but were solidified as the No. 4 seed when the Chiefs won their game against the Chargers earlier in the day. With New England's loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots will not have a first-round bye and will host the Titans on Wild Card weekend.

Details for the Texans-Bills playoff game will be determined following the Sunday Night Football matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Saints.

See photos of the Houston Texans Cheerleaders cheering on your Houston Texans on Week 17 of the 2019 NFL season.

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