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The odds of the Houston Texans making the playoffs in 2020 are officially at zero, with the club having now been eliminated from contention following a 36-7 shellacking at the paws of the Chicago Bears in Week 14. The loss is the latest humiliation the Texans have endured in a dismal 4-9 season that dominated headlines before it ever got underway -- thanks to the team's decision to trade away All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Through it all, however, Deshaun Watson has done his best to captain the sinking ship, but with three games remaining and no postseason to plan for, some are wondering if Houston will decide to protect their most valuable investment and shut down Watson going forward.

To put it plainly, head coach Romeo Crennel says no.

"That question has been asked," he told media, via NFL.com. "My deal is: we're in this game, we play this game to win and there's a season to be played. If you shut down Watson, then should you shut down the rest of the team and everybody pack up and go home for three games left?"

Crennel believes the thought is simply impractical, and would likely draw the ire of the league's front office.

"We're in the NFL and there's certain rules about playing," he added. "I think that probably if you shut down your team and left and didn't play the games, there'd be a tremendous fine involved. So, we're going to play the games and try to win as many as we can."

Needless to say, Crennel knows a little something about the inner workings of the league, given his number of years in the NFL. The counterpoint to his readily exists though, because there are numerous occasions in which a team can and has shut down their cornerstone players -- be it in one way or another (e.g., a supposedly nagging "injury"). That's not a game Crennel wants to play, and so he won't, which is just fine with Watson.

The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback wants to suit up for the final three contests.

"I know there are a lot of the fans and people looking for the future and things like that, but right now I live in the present," Watson said. "I want to finish this season out strong. I want to continue to get the reps that I want to get to be able to continue to grow as a quarterback and as a player and as a teammate. Like I said, I just want to continue to finish this season out strong."

Those who'd opt to sideline Watson point at the unnecessary risk of injury that could negatively impact the 2021 reboot, and having signed a four-year, $177.5 million extension with $111 million in guarantees earlier this year, the team wouldn't be lacking for motivation to ensure he stays healthy for when the games actually matter to the win-loss record. Watson isn't naive to those points but, like Crennel, he's also not willing to entertain them.

"Of course, safety is always first," he said. "But at the same time, I want to finish these three games."