Thursday, July 25, 2024

JJ Watt opens door to play for Texans former teammate DiMeco Ryans

The resurgence of the Houston Texans caught the attention of JJ Watt.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has not played since 2022. But he’s willing to consider retirement if Texans head coach DiMeco Ryans gives him the call. He discussed his potential return to football while speaking at a charity event in Houston on Saturday.

“I was very lucky, very lucky,” Watt said. According to the Houston Chronicle. “I have a beautiful wife, I have a beautiful son, I’ve had 12 great years in this league and I’m very grateful to be healthy and playing well.

“I told DeMeco last year; ‘Don’t call unless you absolutely have to. But if you ever do, I’ll be there.’ And he knows not to call unless you absolutely have to.”

Watt played 10 of his 12 NFL seasons in Houston. He played alongside Ryans his freshman season, making two Pro Bowls as a linebacker with the Texans and then returning as their head coach last season. He led the Texans to the AFC South Championship and a playoff victory over the Cleveland Browns.

JJ Watt is already enshrined in the Texans Ring of Honor.  Will he return to play with his name already etched into NRG Stadium?  (Logan Riley/Getty Images)

JJ Watt is already enshrined in the Texans Ring of Honor. Will he return to play with his name already etched into NRG Stadium? (Logan Riley/Getty Images)

Anderson Jr., Anderson Jr. and a stable of weapons, the Texans program quarterback of the year CJ Stroud, Anderson Jr. Reign, contend for the AFC South title and beyond for the foreseeable future. Could Watt — who has enjoyed three playoff victories in his notable Hall of Fame career — really yearn to play for his former teammates?

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He is 35 years old and says he is in football shape. But his offer has an expiration date.

“I’ll tell him this is the last year because I’m not going to continue to train like I’ve been training,” Watt continued. “But if he really needs it, he knows I’ll be there for him. I don’t expect that to happen because they have a good team.”

So what “absolutely” does the Texans need WATT? Does that mean an injury to a key pass rusher? Early season defense struggles?

Can Watt still contribute? He certainly did in his final NFL season in 2022, racking up 12.5 sacks in 16 games with the Arizona Cardinals. If the Texans “absolutely” feel they need him, they will surely welcome him with open arms. Will Ryan make that call?

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