JJ Watt Injury Leaves Texans Defense On Its Heels

JJ Watt Injury Leaves Texans Defense On Its HeelsIn the Houston Texans’ Week 5 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, an early JJ Watt injury set the tone for his club. On the Chiefs’ first drive of the game, Watt went down with what’s being called a tibial plateau fracture of the left leg. The Texans then proceeded to give up 42 points to the 5-0 Chiefs, falling to 2-3 on a season that seems to be oddly up and down on both sides of the ball.

So far, there is no updated information on the JJ Watt injury or its severity. However, the news might not be all bad for Houston, as other NFL starters have suffered similar tibial plateau fractures and missed an average of only 3-4 weeks. That would be good news for the Texans, particularly since outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus tore a pectoral muscle (on the same play that Watt broke his leg, no less) and will be out for the remainder of the season. With 112.5 career sacks between the two starters, the Texans will be missing a substantial amount of defensive pressure going forward. Given that they’ve allowed 92 points in their last three games, tightening up a struggling defense without two of its most important anchors is going to be quite a challenge.

Fortunately, the Texans’ next game is against the 0-5 Cleveland Browns, and it’s unlikely that a JJ Watt injury – as game-changing as the guy is when healthy – will let the hapless Browns off the hook. There’s been no official statement about who would be filling in for Watt, but the Texans’ depth chart has second-year defensive end Brandon Dunn as Watt’s primary backup. Dunn only recorded three tackles against the Chiefs after Watt went down, but he’ll surely have better luck against Cleveland and company. Houston should win that one pretty easily. There’s no such thing as a sure thing, but “The Browns are going to lose” is about as close as it gets.

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