HOUSTON (AP) — J.J. Watt will return to practice with the Houston Texans on Tuesday, clearing the way for the star defensive end to play in the team's playoff game in two weeks.
Watt has been out since Oct. 27 after tearing a pectoral muscle, an injury which required surgery. The Texans will have 21 days from Tuesday to take him off the injured reserve and add him to the active roster. If they plan to play him in their first playoff game during the weekend of Jan. 4-5, they'll have to activate him by 4 p.m. ET the day before the game.
Players on injured reserve must miss eight games before returning and Watt has only missed seven so far, meaning he could not play in Houston's regular-season finale against Tennessee on Sunday.
This is the third time in four seasons that the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has had a major injury. He missed the last 13 games of 2016 with a back injury which required surgery and played just five games in 2017 before breaking his leg. He played all 16 games last season and was a first-team All-Pro after finishing with 16 sacks and 18 tackles for losses.
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