J.J. Watt has 'no doubt' he'll play Week 1 vs. Patriots


J.J Watt didn't leave much wiggle room surrounding his availability for the regular-season opener on Sept. 9.

The Houston Texans' star defensive end made it clear he expects to be on the field when the Houston Texans travel to Gillette Stadium to play the New England Patriots in Week 1.

"Oh, yeah," Watt told reporters Tuesday, via the Texans' official website. "I mean, there's no doubt."

Watt returns from a broken leg that caused him to miss 11 games in 2017, and he also dealt with a back injury in 2016 that limited him to just three games. Over the past two seasons, he has played in just eight games.

While he didn't see action in last week's preseason opener, Watt hasn't been limited in training camp and there are no concerns over his health.

"I feel great," Watt told reporters. "I love being on the field. I've had great work out here. I'm just controlling what I can control."

So far, so good for Watt, and coach Bill O'Brien recently said he's seeing the dominant version of Watt, who has been named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times on his career.

A 100 percent healthy Watt would certainly help turn around a Texans defense that finished the 2017 season ranked 20th (346.6 yards allowed per game) and 23rd in sacks (32).

On his career, Watt has totaled 76 sacks over seven seasons, including a four-season run of double-digit sacks from 2012 to 2015.