Watt has been dealing with this injury for several weeks, but Saturday's wild-card loss to the Chiefs proved to be the tipping point, where he ultimately had to exit the contest. The star defensive end will now take a proactive approach to addressing the ailment and expects to be ready for the start of the 2016 season.
Watt was already assuming a bit more pass-rushing duty with Jadeveon Clowney (foot) out of commission. Mustering just one assisted tackle before needing a respite in the third quarter, Watt left, seemingly for good, after only a few more snaps on the field.
Watt's production had taken a serious hit since he'd been playing with the cast, but with his fingers free, Watt was able to impact the game. He finishes the regular season with 17.5 sacks and was a dominant player when healthy.
J.J. Watt practiced without a cast on his injured left hand Friday for the first time since suffering the injury.
Whether or not Watt can play without the cast has yet to be determined, but the downturn in his production is quite evident since he began playing with the cast. He has one sack and nine tackles the last three games.
Watt's sack gives him 14.5 on the year to go along with 68 tackles and two forced fumbles. The fifth-year defensive end is still arguably the best pass-rusher in all of football and will continue to hold very solid value as an IDP moving forward.
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