Watson was given limited exposure in the traditional "dress rehearsal" game, getting pulled after just three series. The second-year quarterback's one interception came at the hands of LaMarcus Joyner, who snagged a second-down pass attempt to Bruce Ellington. Watson had already gotten a solid amount of work in last week's win over the 49ers, completing five of eight passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Having proven the health of his surgically repaired knee beyond any reasonable doubt, Watson's next opportunity to suit up likely comes Week 1 against the Patriots.
Although head coach Bill O'Brien had stated that Watson's workload would be similar to that of the preseason opener, the second-year quarterback ended up logging more snaps due the success of the one drive he led. Watson spearheaded a crisp 11-play, 79-yard scoring march that answered the 49ers' similarly successful opening possession. He was impressive while connecting with Bruce Ellington for a total of 44 yards over three completions, including the one-yard touchdown that capped off the series Watson also found starting tight end Ryan Griffin for a 22-yard strike that put the ball in the red zone, making it a highly successful encore to last week's cameo appearance. Watson appears to have eliminated any lingering doubts about his regular-season readiness over the first pair of exhibitions, although he figures to further corroborate his health in next Saturday's "dress rehearsal" showdown against the Rams.
The dynamic second-year quarterback was able to get back into game action just over nine months after tearing his ACL last Nov. 2. Watson's presence was expected Thursday after he'd practiced without limitations since the onset of camp, but it was nevertheless encouraging to see Watson facing live defenders. Head coach Bill O'Brien was unsurprisingly cautious with his star signal caller, giving him a quick hook after the opening possession. Watson is likely primed for a healthy boost in snaps when the Texans take on the 49ers in their second exhibition tilt a week from Saturday.
Watson is on track to play in Thursday's preseason game against the Chiefs, though Texans coach Bill O'Brien acknowledges he hasn't made a final decision, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
O'Brien likely will reveal his decision once he's done formulating the gameplan for Thursday. Regardless of his status for the preseason opener, Watson doesn't seem to be in any danger of missing Week 1 of the regular season. He's been a full participant in practice since the outset of training camp, with no report of any limitations or setbacks so far.
Watson handled first-team reps at Thursday's practice, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Watson handled everything but 11-on-11 drills during the offseason program, so Thursday's development is the most-recent positive sign for his recovery from a torn ACL in his right knee. It's unclear if he slipped on a sleeve or brace, which he alternatively has donned in recent months. As he ramps up his workload further, the last question that remains is when he'll see game action.
|4||9/30/18||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ DEN||4:05 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/18/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|