Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt played four games last year with a broken hand and a club/cast of some sort. The three-time defensive player of the year said on Wednesday on The Triple Threat with Sean Pendergast, Rich Lord and Ted Johnson on SportsRadio 610 that he played some time with a herniated disk in his back as well.
“Last year, was definitely by far the most strenuous on my body that I’ve ever had, fighting through a bunch of things that I’ve never dealt with before,” Watt told the Triple Threat. “We had the broken hand. I had a herniated disk in my back halfway through the year. I had, obviously, everything that went on with my groins and I don’t think everyone fully understand what that proccess was like.”
Watt finished the season with 17.5 sacks to lead the NFL in that category. He also led the league in QB hits and tackles for loss, playing in all 16 games and the Texans playoff game, despite the injuries. Watt says despite some recovery time right after the season he’s feeling good.
“I’m doing pretty darn well,” Watt said. “I feel really good. I’m back to full-fledged training. Obviously, I’m working to get back to my 100% tip-top shape. I am back to my full workouts, I’m back to everything. So now it’s just building back to what I was and going above and beyond that, which I will be at by the first game of the season.”
Watt is probably the closest thing to a sure thing in the NFL to be ready for the NFL Season. The Texans are getting ready to bring in their fourth opening day starting quarterback in four years in Free Agent signing Brock Osweiler and Watt knows it’s something the Texans needed.
“In this league you need a quarterback,” Watt said. “That is just the way it goes. It’s the National Football League. It’s a quarterback driven league, you have to have a quarterback to be successful. I think the opportunity to have a guy like that to step in to come in, and hopefully. provide stability to that position it will hopefully allow our defense to shine.”
Watt is in Wisconsin now, training and getting locked out of his cabin, but will be back in Houston in April for the team’s first official offseason workouts. He also is preparing for the J.J. Watt Charity Classic softball game at Minute Maid Park on May 14th. J.J. and his teammates play an offense vs. defense softball game as well as have a home run derby. Shane Lechler won in 2015, but Watt suspects this year could be his year. He’s never won his own homerun derby.