HOUSTON — The Houston Texans placed star defensive end J.J. Watt on injured reserve Wednesday and his return this season is in doubt.
Coach Bill O'Brien said Watt had re-injured his back and putting him on IR was the best thing for his long-term health. The team was still exploring the injury and it's unclear if it will require surgery. Watt is not expected back before December, if at all.
Watt, who has won Defensive Player of the Year for the past two seasons, missed training camp and Houston's four preseason games after surgery in July to repair a herniated disk in his back. He started each of the team's three regular-season games and got hurt again Thursday against the Patriots.
Watt tweeted a statement that did not provide details on his injury. It began with: "Adversity sucks. Your attitude towards it doesn't have to. I will be back."
"This won't be fun, but it is necessary in order for me to return to 100 percent and play at the level that I am capable of playing at," the post said. "Everybody deals with adversity in their lives, many much worse than what I'm going through. I have great people around me and I appreciate the thoughts and well wishes from all of you. I am looking forward to the fight back to the top and to the next time that I can step back on that field with my brothers to play the game that I love."
It's a major blow for Houston, which selected Watt with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Watt has played 83 consecutive games for the Texans despite various injuries, including torn core muscles and a broken hand last season.
This was a tough offseason for Watt, who had surgery in January to repair five torn core muscles before going under the knife again in July to repair his back.
Cowboys: Dez Bryant has hairline fracture in knee
FRISCO, Texas — Dez Bryant has a slight hairline fracture in a bone in his right knee, though Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says the receiver might not miss a game.
Bryant didn't practice Wednesday, three days after getting hurt in a win over Chicago, and the same day the team got back results of an MRI.
Garrett said he has been told that some players never miss time with that kind of injury.
"We've had players with this kind of injury who missed no time in the past and other players who have missed up to a week or more than that," Garrett said. "We don't think it's something that will keep him out for an extended period of time. It will be a day-by-day, week-by-week situation."
Bryant injured the knee on his first catch on the opening series against the Bears, but came back in the first quarter. He caught his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter of the 31-17 win.
Bryant missed seven games last year after breaking his foot in the opener. He also dealt with knee and ankle injuries last season.
The 2014 All-Pro went down awkwardly on his right leg when he was tackled by Bears linebacker Christian Jones on the second play of the game.
"He's taking it day by day and I think he feels better than he felt after the game, but again he doesn't feel good enough to practice today," Garrett said. "That's certainly an indication of where he is."
Chiefs: Charles closer to returning
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles could make his season debut Sunday night at Pittsburgh, though coach Andy Reid acknowledged that it would depend on how he practices this week.
Charles has not played since tearing the ACL in his right knee in Week 5 last season.
The Chiefs have the week off following the Steelers game, so holding the four-time Pro Bowl running back out would essentially give him two more weeks. But conversely, getting him onto the field for a taste of action would also mean extra time to recover afterward.
The Chiefs have been cautious in getting Charles onto the field. Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West have proven to be solid replacements over the past season.
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