HOUSTON — In a message to fans on Twitter, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt tweeted that he “will be back” after he reinjured his back and was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday.
Your attitude towards it doesn’t have to.
I will be back. pic.twitter.com/56lhtHYs7r
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) September 28, 2016
“I haven’t missed a game since my sophomore year of high school,” Watt said. “This won’t be fun, but it is necessary in order for me to return to 100% and play at the level that I am capable of playing at.
“Everybody deals with adversity in their lives, many much worse than what I’m going through. I have great people around me, and I appreciate the thoughts and well wishes from all of you. I am looking forward to the fight back to the top and to the next time that I can step back on that field with my brothers to play the game that I love. You are the best fans in the world and I promise to continue to do everything in my power to make you proud.”
Watt will miss a minimum of eight weeks, meaning he could be back Nov. 27 against the San Diego Chargers. However, a team source told ESPN’s Ed Werder that “I do believe that he will miss the season, but with the new rule this year, if he were to be ready in December, he could come off IR. Long shot.”
The 27-year-old had not missed an NFL game in his career, playing in 83 consecutive regular-season games.
Watt missed all of training camp and the preseason after he had surgery for a herniated disk in his back in late July. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year and four-time Pro Bowler played part of last season through the injury before aggravating it late in the offseason. He also had surgery in January to repair five torn core muscles.
Though Watt had 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs, he has not been as explosive since returning to the field.
Houston signed veteran defensive end Antonio Smith to fill Watt’s roster spot. Smith played for the Texans from 2009 to 2013, registering 27 of his 47 career sacks with the team.