Houston Texans Have High Expectations with Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt Back From IR

Deshaun Watson is back. So is J.J. Watt. But can the Texans rebound from 4-12?

Taz and the Moose
October 30, 2018 - 8:45 am

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For a team that went 4-12 last season, the Houston Texans enter 2018 with high expectations. Of course, that might be because Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and several other players are back from IR.

“(Expectations) are through the roof – mainly because Watson is back, but also they had 23 players on injured reserve last year, including 13 starters,” Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain said on Taz & The Moose. “In my 40 years of covering the NFL, I can’t say that I’ve seen that. If they could just keep Watson healthy – he was so spectacular.”

Watson, 22, had 21 touchdowns (19 pass, two rush) in 7 games last season.

“(He was) on a pace for 43 touchdown passes and six rushing when he went down in practice after (that) game in Seattle,” McClain said. “There’s nothing he can’t do. People here are really pumped.”

They’re also pumped for the return of Watt, who has been limited to eight games over the last two seasons.

“Last year, he was coming off his second back operation and he suffered a broken leg in the fifth game,” McClain said. “Everything they’ve done with him is designed to have him ready for the Patriots game (in Week 1). We asked him yesterday if he was sure he’d be able to play in that game, and he said, ‘No doubt.’”

The Texans play three of their first four games on the road this season, with trips to Foxboro and Nashville slated for Weeks 1 and 2, respectively.

“What everybody wants to know – and nobody does, including Watt – is can be regain the form that he showed when he tied Lawrence Taylor as the only three-time winners of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award?” McClain said. “The only good thing about the last two seasons is his body has not been taking a pounding as it did before when he would get double- and triple-teamed and blockers would try everything to neutralize him. So he’s fired up, too, like all their players who are back from injuries. But at the this time last year, they were healthy, too.”