The Houston Texans continue to hold out hope that J.J. Watt could return for a playoff run after suffering a torn pectoral earlier this season.
Coach Bill O'Brien was asked Monday about the defensive lineman potentially coming off injured reserve.
"J.J. is working very, very hard. He's certainly made progress based on his work ethic and who he's working within the training room. We will see how it goes," O'Brien said, via Aaron Reiss of The Athletic.
Getting Watt back, even if he's at 70 or 75 percent, would be massive for a Texans pass rush that has cratered since he got injured in Week 8.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier this month that the Texans are saving their second IR/designated to return spot for Watt, and there is optimism within the building that the three-time Defensive Player of the Year could be ready. Rapoport even noted a Week 17 return isn't out of consideration.
O'Brien's comments continue that belief.
The Texans pulled out a big win Sunday over the Tennessee Titans, giving Houston the edge for the division title with two games left, including a rematch with the Titans.
If Houston makes it to January, the potential return of Watt could be big for the Texans' chances of advancing beyond the first weekend.