HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – J.J. Watt didn’t feel like himself during the Texans’ 30-0 AFC Wild Card Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last January.
“I felt like a broken down car trying to keep rolling,” he said in front of his locker Wednesday before the Texans’ week 2 game against the same team that ended his and their season nine months ago. “At some point there, it just kinda shutdown, the whole thing.”
That point was the third quarter.
Trying to rush Alex Smith with the Texans already trailing 23-0, his groin gave out. It tore clean off the bone, and he underwent surgery a few days later. Then, in July Watt underwent surgery on a herniated disc in his back. He missed the entire offseason, but was able to return to practice and play in the Texans 23-14 win over the Bears on Sunday, though he wasn’t his normal disruptive self.
“It’s definitely frustrating for me to go out there and not be able to in the beginning of the game not be the player I want to be,” he said. “By the end of the game I started to get back to myself.”
After the game, in which he finished with one tackle and three hits on Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler, Watt felt some soreness, but he says that is a good thing.
“After one week of practice and playing a game it’s a good soreness to feel.”
Following practice Wednesday afternoon, the reigning 2-time Defensive Player of the Year is starting to feel more and more like his old self.
“I’m eager to get out to practice everyday because I know that every rep I take is so important right now,” he said. “Even in practice today, each rep I take I feel stronger, I feel better. You get your eyes back, you get everything back.”
“It’s not necessarily me looking forward to Sunday yet, it’s me looking forward to Thursday’s practice now.”