Houston Texans: What to Expect From Deshaun Watson’s Texans in 2018?

Shanna Lockwood, USA TODAY Sports

Expect Either Watt, Clowney, or Mercilus to Miss Significant Time

J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and the underrated Whitney Mercilus are three of the premier pass rushers in the league. When all three are on the field, no quarterback looks forward to playing the Texans defense. Unfortunately, it’s a rare occurrence to see all three healthy at the same time. Watt, the face of the franchise, broke his leg last year and underwent multiple back surgeries two years ago for an agonizing herniated disk. Clowney since his 2014 rookie season has had knee issues. Mercilus was placed on the IR last year after tearing his pectoral muscle against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5.

The Houston Chronicle reported on Monday that Watt is ready to return to his old form. Despite playing only eight games in the last two years, Dr. David Chao, a former San Diego Chargers team doctor, insists that Watt isn’t necessarily injury-prone. I find Dr. Chao’s comment hilarious, but then again I’m not a doctor. Watt’s an elite force, so I wouldn’t doubt him returning to the Pro Bowl if he remains healthy for a majority of the season. If Watt does get hurt again, then defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and head coach Bill O’Brien will rely on Clowney and Mercilus to provide pressure against quarterbacks.

As for now, all three are ready for Week 1

According to Houston Texans insider and lead writer for their team website Deepl Sidhu, Clowney is “ready to go,” and will be playing during Houston’s Week 3 preseason game. As for Mercilus, CBS Sports reported on Tuesday the linebacker who is nursing a hamstring injury would be ready for the September 9 season opener. It was also reported that Sidhu confirmed with Coach O’Brien that while most players will be playing during Week 3’s preseason game, Mercilus will remain sidelined.

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