Texans' J.J. Watt (back) expects to practice next week


Don't count J.J. Watt out for the season opener just yet.

One week after coach Bill O'Brien acknowledged that Watt was in jeopardy of missing the season's first two games, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year is poised to return to the practice field.

Watt expects to practice next week for the first time since undergoing back surgery in July, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source with knowledge of the situation.

Rapoport's report adds context to Watt's tweet from Wednesday, suggesting his return is imminent:

If Watt makes it through a full week of practice without a setback next week, he will put himself on track to start versus the Chicago Bears on Sept. 11.

That's welcome news for a team suddenly facing major question marks on the other side of the ball.