If for nothing else, the Houston Texans are a consistent bunch. Injuries were a major storyline for the team last season, most of this offseason, and now in training camp. Team officials confirmed that star second-year DE J.J. Watt dislocated his elbow this morning, which believe it or not is actually sort of a best-case scenario. One of the emerging leaders of the Texan defense, it appears Watt will miss the remainder of the preseason but will be ready for the team’s week one contest with the Miami Dolphins.
When asked about Watt’s condition, head coach Gary Kubiak responded simply by noting, “We dodged another bullet.” This is of course a reference to the myriad of minor injuries to key players the Texans have suffered through the first week of training camp. Watt joins WR Andre Johnson (groin strain), LT Duane Brown (ankle bruise), and CB Kareem Jackson (hamstring pull) as starters and major contributors who at the moment are sidelined. Johnson, Brown, and Jackson are not expected to practice the rest of this week, but could return as early as the start of next week.
For the time being, the Texans will likely move forward with Tim Jamison as the starter in Watt's absence. There is also the possibility the team explores free agent options as a way to cover themselves for the remainder of the preseason.
Also leaving practice early today was rookie RG Brandon Brooks, who apparently was having heat-related issues. On this front, Brooks joins a slew of other potential starters and contributors who have missed valuable practice time to compete and prove themselves worthy for serious playing time. This list includes ILB Darryl Sharpton (hip), and DE Jared Crick (neck).
Texans fans don’t have anything to be immediately distressed about as it appears nobody will be missing any regular season games. However, the ongoing injury pandemic is alarming to say the least. Yes, it’s true all NFL teams suffer injury setbacks during grueling hot training camps, but the Texans are developing a trend. It’s fairly unexplainable because even factors like the Houston heat doesn’t account for injuries such as Watt’s or Brown’s. For now, all anybody can do is hold their breath and hope this is just another inevitable speed bump on the Texans’ way to Super Bowl XLVII.
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