Deshaun Watson reportedly played with partially collapsed lung, taking hits at alarmingly high rate

Deshaun Watson is taking a pounding behind the Texans' frail offensive line. 

Through six games, Watson has been sacked 25 times and hit 70 times, as noted by NFL analyst Johnny Kinsley on Twitter. Per Kinsley, the next closest team has allowed 49 hits -- or 21 fewer hits than the Texans. It gets worse. According to Fox's Jay Glazer, Watson suffered a cracked rib, a bruised lung, and a partially collapsed lung during the Texans' win over the Cowboys in Week 5.

Despite those injuries, Watson started and finished the Texans' win over the Bills on Sunday, during which he was sacked seven times. The most miraculous part is that according to Watson, he didn't even feel the pain during the game.

"I've always played through injuries. I didn't (feel) it during the game," he said on Wednesday, per the Houston Chronicle. "I wanted to be out there with my teammates and coaches. I wanted to do what I could to help my team win."

Watson might've been able to shake off those injuries, but unless something changes soon, it's not unfair to think that Watson might not survive the season. He's on pace to be sacked roughly 67 times this season, which would be the fourth-highest sack total in a single season behind only David Carr's 68- and 76-sack seasons in 2005 and 2002, and Randall Cunningham's 72-sack season in 1986. 

So, this should be a remarkably familiar sight to Texans fans. They already watched sacks crash Carr's career. Now, they're in the process of watching Watson get beat up game after game after game. A year ago, Watson's sensational rookie season was cut short by a torn ACL. Heading into the 2018 season, we all figured the Texans would prioritize Watson's health and safety over everything else. But that hasn't happened to this point, though it's worth noting that Watson, himself, deserves some blame as he often refuses to go down before initiating contact.

At 3-3, the Texans have plenty to play for right now, but Watson's long-term future should matter more to them than any sort of success they'll see this season. His injury history should concern them. And they need to find a way to stop the hits from continually coming. 

On that note, it's probably not a good sign that their next game is against the Jaguars, who are struggling defensively right now, but are probably eyeing a matchup against the Texans' offensive line as a get-right type of game.  

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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