When the Houston Texans battle the Chicago Bears on Sunday they shall be in a condition relative to their two superb athletes who have been recently activated from the physically unable to perform list: defensive end J.J. Watt and offensive tackle Derek Newton.
Despite undergoing an injury-plagued season, where NFL fans saw J.J. Watt meander with a broken hand, and later on suffered a groin injury, he was still able to garner for himself a solid PFF grade of 93.8.
J.J. Watt is a true competitor, whose speed is seen as a major problem for blockers considering his size. He’s the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 3 out of the last 4 seasons, and his return is a manifestation of his supreme drive to become the best.
It’s what makes him the only defensive player who truly might have a chance of winning the NFL’s MVP award.
According to a report by ESPN, with J.J. Watt finally back from a back injury, having passed his physical exam on Sunday coach Bill O’Brien and his teammates feel a positive uplift by his mere presence.
“It just goes to show he’s a warrior. All the stuff he’s been going through. His passion for the game, his love for the game. You just get a respect seeing him out there and knowing how hard he works.” Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson said.
“If J.J. Watt got his leg blown up, I’d expect him to be back out here practicing the next day. That’s just the guy he is. He’s a hard worker, he’s tough. And he has a lot of passion for the game, and he wants to be great. I expect him to come out here and be the best player in the league when he’s out here.”
Meanwhile, Texans right tackle Derek Newton is also expected to play after being out since the 1st day of camp after sustaining a hamstring injury, although at a limited snap count.
Both players just recently got back from some time off the field and it’s going to be crucial to observe how they are able to deal with the physicality of the sport.
Both Watt and Derek Newton were reportedly working hard as the team had their first full-padded practice, where coach Bill O’Brien said, “It’s always good to have your team as close to full strength as possible.
On how much both athletes have performed since their return, no specific details have been shared. But it all goes down to their level of conditioning at this point.
“I think with anybody that comes off of being out for a while, the first thing you want to look at is their level of conditioning,” Bill O’Brien said in a report by the Chicago Tribune.
“Where are they at as it relates to their own conditioning, their own ability to stay in there and sustain plays throughout a drive. I think that’s the big thing. Then, from there, it’s just about how are they reacting to whatever their injury was, how is that playing out in practice?”
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