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Deshaun Watson: I'll return better 'than ever before'

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  • By Edward Lewis NFL.com
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Deshaun Watson tore an ACL once at Clemson. The quarterback eventually made it back to the field and became one of the most promising young quarterbacks in the NFL.

Watson tore an ACL again during practice Thursday and was placed on injured reserve Friday. And, just as he did before, the Houston Texans rookie said he's confident he can make it back to the field and be successful.

"They say you never miss it until it's gone and even though it's not gone for long, I already miss it," Watson said in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday. "Yesterday, I felt like I let my teammates, my fans and my family down. However, as a child of God, I understand that everything happens for a reason. He DON'T make mistakes!

"Today, the journey back seems far but I've been here before and will conquer it once again. I want to thank each and every one of my teammates for their unwavering support. My NFL brothers, thanks for all the prayers. To my fans, I cannot begin to express my gratitude for your relentless encouragement. To the countless others who have reach out, I am humbled and can only say thank you from the depths of my heart. I play this game for you all, and I am grateful for the love you have shown me, not only over the past 24 hours, but throughout this entire season.

"I promise that I will continue to work diligently so that this team can one day bring a championship to Houston, and when I return, I will be better, stronger and more focused than ever before! Now the grind begins.... #815 #Memo GODSPEED. A small thing to a GIANT."

The blow is obviously a huge one for the Texans. Despite their 3-4 record, the team had shown serious signs of threatening the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans for the top spot in the AFC South, all largely because of Watson's stellar play.

Without Watson, who coach Bill O'Brien said Friday "will be one of the top quarterbacks in this league for a long time to come," hope for a successful year from the fanbase in Houston has waned. Per O'Brien, however, losing the rookie quarterback for the season does not mean the Texans' year is over.

"We're not going to give in to what's out there," O'Brien said. "That the demise of the Houston Texans is upon us. I mean, like, that's ridiculous. We're going to show up and fight and play."

The Texans will go with Tom Savage as their starter Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts with the newly signed T.J. Yates backing him up. While O'Brien ceded there are "obvious" differences between those two and Watson, he declined to get into how the Texans will change in terms of X's and O's.

So what will the Watson-less Texans look like Sunday and how will the team rebound?

"I guess we'll all find out on Sunday," O'Brien said.

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