Ghosts In Football
"We dodged a bullet": J.J. Watt injury not as bad as feared, but Kubiak wondersif field is cursed
The tension may not have completely left Houston Texans' training camp, but it's certainly lessened. Gary Kubiak even flashed several smiles when he met a larger-than-usual group of reporters Thursday afternoon.
For J.J. Watt — the second-year defensive end who has in many ways already become the face of the Texans' defense — "only" has a dislocated elbow. Which is easy to say, if it's not your elbow.
"We dodged another bullet," Kubiak said. ". . . We're very, very fortunate."
When Watt was carted off the field during the Texans' morning practice in this first week of two-a-days, things didn't look great for a Houston franchise that is aiming for the Super Bowl. Losing the 6-foot-5, nearly 300-pound Watt for an extended period of time could have been devastating for a team that will be facing a murder's row of star quarterbacks this season.
"We dodged another bullet," Gary Kubiak said. ". . . We're very fortunate."
Now Kubiak is saying the Texans "know" Watt will be back in time for the regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 9. Watt himself vowed the same thing, tweeting, "Adversity makes you stronger. I will be on the field against the Dolphins. Better than ever. #BullsOnParade."
As for the preseason?
As many Texans fans are probably thinking right now: Who needs it?
Kubiak said he will not put a timetable of 10 to 14 days, or anything like that, on Watt's return. There will be no rushing J.J. Watt back for glorified practice games. Which doesn't mean the coach/ex-quarterback didn't tweak his young star a little.
"I teased him," Kubiak laughed. "I told him I dislocated (my elbow) in college and only missed two days. He didn't believe me."
Sports medicine was a little more archaic back when the 50-year-old Kubiak played football.
Whether it's modern or ancient times, trusting a professional sports team's own injury reports always come at something of your own risk (until someone tweets a picture of their MRI). But Kubiak's demeanor as much as his words spoke volumes on Watt.
With Watt, lifeline wide receiver Andre Johnson and game-changing left tackle Duane Brown all hurt and out of practice in a training camp that's still in week one, even the ever-optimistic Kubiak is starting to wonder if something strange is not going on though. Especially coming off a 2011 season when the Texans had to defy a rash of injuries to win the first playoff game in franchise history.
"There must be something buried out there on field one," Kubiak said of the practice field where most of the Texans seem to be going down. "We're going to move over to field two and three and see if we can keep everyone upright."