By: Mark Stanley
Well, the football gods giveth, and they taketh away. The Houston Texans dished out a ton of money to pay now-starting quarterback Brock Osweiler in free agency this offseason, but now according to Ian Rapoport, the Texans will be missing a huge piece on the other side of the football. Houston star defensive lineman JJ Watt will miss the rest of the 2016 season after undergoing season-ending surgery on his back.
Watts injury is unfortunate, but not isolated. According to multiple sources including NFL.com and the Washington Post, Watt had already undergone surgery to have a herniated disk in his back repaired during the summer. With the news of him being sidelined, it will break his streak of never missing a game in his six-year career.
Watt’s on field performance will definitely be missed. Last season, Watt accounted for 76 combined tackles, 56 solo tackles, and 17.5 sacks. With his absence, the Texans will likely lean heavily on Watt’s counterpart, defensive end Whitney Mercilus and on former 1st round draft pick and 3rd year defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to pick up the slack. Clowney, who had 40 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks in 13 games last season has been struggling with injury issues himself. He has yet to finish a 16 game season in his short career, only playing 4 games in his rookie season and then improving to 13 games in his second year. Only time will tell if he’ll provide the support the defense will need during Watt’s absence. Whether or not he does, the Texans will need to lean on their offense as well behind quarterback Brock Osweiler, and running back Lamar Miller, who the Texans picked up in free agency this offseason. They’ll also need to depend on huge playmaker wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins as well as their current 1st round pick, wide receiver Will Fuller V, if they want to keep any hopes of playoff contention alive this season.
(Featured Image: (Karen, Flickr)