Football hasn't been as fun to watch without J.J. Watt at maximum efficiency over the past two years, with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year only playing in eight games over the past two seasons. He's hoping for a healthy return, and so is everyone else: When he's operating at his full powers, there aren't many people better at playing defense than Watt.

So good news: He told CBS Sports Evan Washburn he feels "great" heading into the second week of the preseason.

"I feel great. I feel great. It's been great to be back out here with the guys on the field playing the game," Watt said. "Just take it one day at a time. I feel really good and the trainers did a really good job this offseason helping me get my body back to where it needs to be. And it's just playing football."

Further proof that Watt feels/looks OK: He appears to be the Houston version of the Incredible Hulk based on the Instagram photo he lobbed up on social media recently.

one day at a time.

A post shared by JJ Watt (@jjwatt) on

Watt has always been ripped, but he looks straight JACKED in that photo. 

Despite the enthusiasm and the strong physical appearance, Watt understands he can't just speak into existence a healthy season for the Texans. He lost last year on a fluke play and that's just how football works.

He also knows that the expectations for the 2018 Texans are much higher than they have been in years past. But the team has a long way to go before they're ready.

"I think we all know what we can be. Now it's a matter of us coming to work and executing it to put it together on game days. We have an incredible amount of talent on this team," Watt said. "As long as we continue to work and put it together, we can be where we want to be, but it's August."

Good or bad, 2018 in Houston is going to boil down to the health of Watt and Deshaun Watson. If both guys play 16 games, this is a contender in the AFC South and AFC as a whole. Fortunately for everyone involved -- including those of us who just watch them play -- it appears that both guys are on track to start the season fully healthy.