Lifting weights last week and passing his conditioning test this past Sunday, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is reportedly closing in on a possible appearance on the field week one against the Chicago Bears.http://www.scout.com/nfl/texans/story/1702243-texans-start-moves-to-the-... Head Coach Biill O’Brien remains optimistic that Watt could be available for the first week of the season.
“I think the arrow is pointing towards that. I would say that we are headed in the right direction with him,” said O’Brien of Watt. “He certainly feels much better, obviously, than he did, let’s just say, two weeks ago.”
Watt remains on the physically unable to perform list and the team has to make a decision on his status before the roster deadline set by the NFL on Saturday. Watt has not missed an NFL game in his career, appearing in 85 games, 80 in the regular season and 5 in the playoffs.
Despite signs point to Watt returning soon, O’Brien is not ready to activate him off the PUP list just yet.
“I don’t think we’re at the point right now today where we’re going to activate him right now, but I know that it looks decent for him to be able to play in the first game,” explained O’Brien.
Other Injury Notes
Duane Brown’s status is still up in the air with the roster decisions being made. O’Brien is waiting until next week to get a better feel on Brown and his status for week one. Stay tuned.
Derek Newton is now set to return this week and he went through full pregame warmups in the final preseason game. He is set to play in the game against Chicago in week one, but conditioning comes into question and whether he can handle a full workload after sitting out most of training camp. Newton did some conditioning work while rehabbing to get him ready but O’Brien is leery of Newton's ability to take every snap of the game at this point.
“I don’t think he can play the whole game,” said O’Brien on Newton. “We’ll have to see how many snaps as we go through the week, how he does in practice, and then be ready to rotate him a little bit during the game.”
Akeem Dent sustained a concussion making a tackle in the final preseason game and is currently in the league's concussion protocol.