Hous­ton’s Watt re-in­jures his back, could miss sea­son

Colts put Cole on in­jured re­serve

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Kristie Rieken

HOUS­TON >> J.J. Watt has re-in­jured his back, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with his con­di­tion, and the Hous­ton Tex­ans ex­pect the star de­fen­sive end to be side­lined un­til at least De­cem­ber, and pos­si­bly the en­tire sea­son.

The per­son spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press on Tues­day night on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the team hasn’t con­firmed the in­jury.

Watt 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.

It’s un­clear if the in­jury will re­quire surgery, but the per­son fa­mil­iar with his con­di­tion told the AP he could be placed on in­jured re­serve as early as Wed­nes­day.

Watt, who has won De­fen­sive Player of the Year for the past two sea­sons, didn’t prac­tice on Mon­day, but coach Bill O’Brien said he was just get­ting a day off.

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 IINDIANAPOLIS >> The In­di­anapo­lis Colts put out­side linebacker and for­mer Ea­gle Trent Cole on in­jured re­serve Tues­day.

Cole is in the fi­nal year of a two-year deal he signed last sea­son and had been deal­ing with an in­jured back, though he was cred­ited with one tackle in Sun­day’s 26-22 victory over San Diego. He has 88½ ca­reer sacks in 12 NFL sea­sons.

July to re­pair his back. There was a time af­ter his surgery in Jan­uary where he won­dered about his future in the NFL.

“Af­ter the first surgery there were some days there where I re­ally ques­tioned whether or not I’d ever be able to play again,” he said ear­lier this month. “Just some of the stuff we were deal­ing with from a re­hab stand­point, just the way that the re­cov­ery was go­ing early on ... there was a very low point there and it was tough.”

Watt, who led the NFL with 17½ sacks last sea­son, has 1 ½ sacks this sea­son to give him 76 for his ca­reer .

The 27-year-old is a three-time De­fen­sive Player of the Year and a four-time Pro Bowler. He’s been a force since en­ter­ing the league not only be­cause of his pass-rush­ing prow­ess, but also be­cause of his un­canny abil­ity to swat down passes.

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