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O'Brien: Watson 'more likely' to play in preseason opener

O'Brien: Watson 'more likely' to play in preseason opener


Reuters 07 Aug 2018, 06:28 PM

Nine months removed from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has a good chance of suiting up in Thursday's preseason opener.

Asked Tuesday if Watson is more or less likely to play against the Kansas City Chiefs, head coach Bill O'Brien told reporters, "I'd say more likely."

O'Brien added that the coaches' plan for how to divide reps at Arrowhead Stadium has yet to be finalized. If Watson plays, it will likely be for only a series or two, with Brandon Weeden, Joe Webb and perhaps Stephen Morris expected to play most of the game.

Watson tore his right ACL during a practice on Nov. 2 and had surgery on Nov. 8, but reports about his recovery and progress have been positive throughout the nine months since. He participated in practices during the Texans' offseason workouts and avoided the physically unable to perform list to open training camp.

Barring a setback, Watson is fully expected to be ready for the regular-season opener.

Watson, who turns 23 in September, threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions, along with 269 yards and two scores on the ground in seven games (six starts) last season.

One of the Texans' other stars returning from injury, J.J. Watt's status for Thursday's preseason opener is unclear, but the defensive end downplayed the need to appear in multiple preseason contests.

"I'll definitely need some live reps at some point before the regular season, but it's kind of more -- that's just whatever the coaching staff wants, however many live reps they think you should see," Watt told reporters Monday. "...You don't need a ton of live reps, you just want to get your feet under you."

Watt also offered high praise for a fellow defensive lineman, third-year nose tackle D.J. Reader.

"I think nose guard is a position that is easily overlooked in this league because everyone wants sacks and big numbers, but I think D.J. does an incredible job at what he does," Watt said, per the Houston Chronicle. "In my opinion, he's the best nose guard in the league. I don't know if nose guards even make the Pro Bowl anymore just because of how it's set up, but I'll always be pushing for D.J. to make it.

Reader, who turned 24 in July, had 47 tackles and 1.0 sack last year, giving him 69 and 2.0, respectively, through 30 games (21 starts). A fifth-round pick in 2016, Reader started all 14 games he played in last season.

--Field Level Media

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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