Watson (knee) practiced without a brace at mandatory minicamp this week, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports. "The knee is doing good," Watson said Wednesday. "For the nine-week goal we put in from the beginning [of the offseason program], I'm pretty much where I wanted to be. Kind of passed it inside in the weight room, mentally and also on the field, so everything's going smoothly right now."
More than seven months removed from tearing the ACL in his right knee during a Week 9 practice, Watson has made significant progress in his recovery, taking part in all drills but 11-on-11 team work. Prior to minicamp, he was moving about with a brace and later a sleeve during OTAs, so the lack of either this week indicates his presence could be felt at the very start of training camp on July 26. Even if he's limited at that point, preseason games will be the true testing ground for the knee in question in advance of the Texans' Week 1 matchup at New England.
Watson (knee) is not expected to open up training camp on the PUP list, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
This is a very positive development for the starting quarterback, as his anticipated absence from the PUP list at the start of training camp suggests that Watson is very close to being back to 100 percent. Watson has participated in throwing drills during OTAs and should see his workload increase as training camp draws closer.
Watson (knee) was seen participating in throwing drills during OTAs on Tuesday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
This is the first time Watson has been seen participating in any sort of football activity after going down with a torn ACL last season, which is another encouraging sign as training camp approaches. Head coach Bill O'Brien has said that Watson is on track to participate in the team's training camp in July, and the fact that the second-year quarterback is already on the field throwing certainly backs that claim up. Barring any setbacks, expect Watson's workload to gradually increase as the offseason moves along in anticipation of a potential return as the starting quarterback Week 1.
O'Brien seemingly has been optimistic about all of his team's injuries throughout the offseason, particularly when discussing Watson and J.J. Watt (lower leg), two of the team's three most important players (along with DeAndre Hopkins). The second-year quarterback has yet to participate in any form of football activity, but the Texans haven't ruled out an appearance at some point during OTAs or mandatory minicamp between late May and mid-June. Watson will be 10 months removed from tearing the ACL in his right knee when Week 1 rolls around, and he's believed to have avoided any additional damage which could complicate the rehab process. The Texans initially predicted a timeline of eight or nine months, giving him a shot to be ready at the start of training camp. As things currently line up, Brandon Weeden likely would be the Week 1 starter if Watson were to suffer a late setback.
Watson continues to progress well in his recovery from a torn right ACL, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. "Deshaun's ahead of schedule, but there's still a lot of work," coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday. "He has a great idea how he feels and how his knee is. He knows the stages he needs to get back on the field."
Per the report, Watson, who injured his knee back on Nov. 2, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. What the QB will be able to do during the Texans' offseason program remains to be seen, however, with incremental steps in order. With that in mind, it appears as though Watson will probably do some throwing as OTAs progress, possibly in 7-on-7 situations, but probably not in team drills. Once training camp rolls around, we'll have a better handle on Watson's recovery, but once fully healthy, the 2017 first-rounder will look to build on his promising rookie effort, highlighted by the 19:8 TD:INT ratio that he compiled over the course of the seven games he played in prior to suffering the second torn ACL of his football career. Previously, Watson tore his left ACL during his freshman year at Clemson in 2014.
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