Head Coach Bill O’Brien left the door open for the possibility of defensive end J.J. Watt making his season debut during week one against the Chicago Bears. It was reported that Watt started lifting last week and passed his conditioning test prior to the third preseason game, which are all positive signs for his return.
“J.J. is progressing well. He’s made a lot of improvement over the last couple of weeks,” commented O’Brien. “He’s really on the right track. We feel good about where he is right now.”
Watt has been limited this off season after groin surgery; he arrived late to OTAs and got a few practices in. Then he had back surgery the week before training camp opened and has been rehabbing to get ready for the season. It has been a tough haul for Watt since the end of last season but O’Brien likes where Watt is in terms of his progress.
O’Brien can see Watt possibly being ready for week one.
“Yes. I’m not committing to that, but I could definitely see that,” said O’Brien of Watt’s return. “When I look into my crystal ball, I could see him playing the Chicago Bears. I can envision that. That’s something that I’m envisioning. I’d like to see him in there for a number of our games this year.”
There is some outside hope for Watt to be ready but if anything, it has given the Bears something to worry about in terms of planning for week one.