According to Jason Cole of B/R, the Texans have “serious concerns” about DE J.J. Watt’s back and his ability to play long-term.
Cole says that one of the team’s biggest concerns is whether he’ll listen to their training staff and not push himself too hard to get back from this injury.
Former NFL physician David Chao mentioned that aggravating an issue like this is possible when a player returns early. However, Chao considers it to be a “huge leap” to say that this is a potentially career-ending issue or that he needs to have fusion surgery at some point.
Houston officially placed Watt on injured reserve Wednesday, which will cost him at least the next eight weeks of the season. Although others have said that this very well could be a season-ending injury for him, depending on whether it will require surgery.
Watt posted this on his Twitter account regarding the injury:
Your attitude towards it doesn't have to.
I will be back. pic.twitter.com/56lhtHYs7r
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 28, 2016
Watt underwent back surgery for a herniated disc several months ago but was able to return in time for the start of the regular season. However, it was clear that Watt wasn’t 100 percent healthy yet.
Given Watt’s importance to the Texans, it’s fair to wonder if Watt and the team both pushed him to return from a serious injury too soon.
Watt, 27, is in the third year of his eight-year, $108.88 million contract that includes $51.8 million guaranteed. He stands to make a base salary of $10.5 million for the 2016 season.
This season, Watt has appeared in three games and recorded eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery for the Texans. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 72 interior defender out of 116 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Watt’s injury as the news is available.