The Texans might have lost their best player for the rest of the season.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt re-injured his back during the Texans' Week 3 loss to the Patriots and is facing a lengthy recovery time. It could even end his season, Rapoport reported.
Sources: #Texans star DL JJ Watt has re-injured his back and is expected to be out for an extended period of time. Could be the season.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 28, 2016
If it wasn't already clear, back injuries can be tricky. Watt underwent back surgery in July after playing through myriad injuries last season, and he hurried back so that he didn't miss a game. Through the first three weeks of the season, though, he wasn't the same Watt, recording only 1.5 sacks.
Hopefully, Watt takes his time and gets fully healthy before he returns, even if that means he misses the entire season. At 27, he could still have a ton of football ahead of him and, at this point, he should be prioritizing his long-term health instead of rushing back so he can play a role down the stretch.
The Texans won't be the same without Watt, but their defense is at least equipped to still rush the passer. Whitney Mercilus (two sacks so far) is one of the game's top pass rushers and Jadeveon Clowney is actually healthy. With that being said, there's no way the Texans can actually replace a healthy J.J. Watt.
Luckily, they play in the AFC South, so they could still sneak into the postseason, even without one of the game's greatest players.