Two days removed from the final game of 2017, there was talk of Deshaun Watson and the middle of May, 2018.
The Texans quarterback is rehabbing from an early November knee injury, and according to head coach Bill O'Brien, that rehab is progressing nicely.
"He's been here every day working hard to get better and I believe he's ahead of schedule," O'Brien said during a Tuesday press conference at NRG Stadium.
Watson was injured during a practice before the Week 9 contest against the Colts. He had just been named the Offensive Player of the Month for October, when he guided the Texans offense to an average of 40.5 points per game over four contests in that span.
O'Brien was asked whether or not the 2017 first round pick would be available for organized team activities (OTAs) in mid-May, and he was hopeful.
"There's a chance he could do some things in OTAs, but I would have to confirm that with you later," O'Brien said. "Relative to exactly what he could do in OTAs, I wouldn't be able to tell you that now, but I do think that there's a chance that he could be out there during OTAs doing something."
In seven 2017 games, Watson completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards, with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran 36 times for 269 yards and a pair of scores.
Regardless of when Watson is back on the practice field, O'Brien is looking forward to working with the young quarterback.
"Absolutely," O'Brien said. "He's an exciting player. He's an even better person off the field. He's just a very coachable guy, eager to learn, eager to get better. He's got great poise on the field. We're all excited about his future."
The Texans will start offseason conditioning work as a team on April 16.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 4/16/2021)