Houston's Watt re-injures back, could miss entire season

The 27-year-old Watt had missed the entire preseason after having surgery to fix a herniated disk in July. He would be eligible to return to practice after six weeks on IR and to game action after eight weeks, meaning he could be back November 27 against the San Diego Chargers. He missed the Texans' practice on Monday.

It's a huge loss for the Texans, for whom Watt is the defensive centerpiece.

Vowing to be back in the future, Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt reacted to the setback to his surgically repaired back that has landed him on injured reserve. He will be eligible to practice with the team after six weeks, and may return to game action in eight weeks. Watt is a beast, but he can only play through so many beatings like this one on the gridiron without them taking their toll.

Ed Werder of ESPN confirmed the report.

Even with a diminished Watt, the Texans had emerged as the heavy favorites in an underwhelming AFC South. He most recently played against the New England Patriots in Houston's Week 3 loss against the New England Patriots.

The Indianapolis Colts put outside linebacker Trent Cole on injured reserve with a back injury.

Like the rest of the team, Watt struggled in Houston's Thursday night matchup against New England.

The Texans signed defensive end Antonio Smith to replace Watt for the time being.

Watt said before the start of the regular season that there was a time during rehab from surgery when he feared he might never play again. The Texans also lost another defense player they needed was Brian Crushing. He has 47 sacks in his career.

Admittedly, that's easier said than done when dealing with a player who has never missed a game and was likely pushing hard to return. The 34-year-old has 311 tackles and 47.0 sacks for his career.

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